ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Consumer prices in Singapore fall 0.8% again in November
SINGAPORE: Inflation in Singapore fell 0.8 per cent year-on-year in November, same as October's drop, according to a joint news release from the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Wednesday (Dec 23).
This is the 13th straight month that consumer prices have fallen.
Food and services inflation eased while the decline in private road transport cost was more modest, according to the media release.
Food inflation moderated to 1.6 per cent from 1.8 per cent in October, on account of a slower rise in the prices of non-cooked food and restaurant meals, said MAS and MTI.
Overall services inflation fell slightly to 0.7 per cent from 0.8 per cent in October. This mainly reflected the lower cost of healthcare after MediShield Life kicked in in November, according to the release.
However, holiday travel cost rose at a faster pace, alongside a more moderate decline in air fares, the ministries said.
Accommodation cost was 3 per cent lower in November, similar to the drop in the previous month, reflecting the soft housing rental market, said MAS and MTI.
The cost of private road transport fell by 1.7 per cent, compared to the 2.3 per cent decline in October. MAS and MTI attributed this to higher petrol pump prices compared to a year ago.
Inflation as measured by CPI less imputed rentals on owner-occupied accommodation (CPI-ex OOA) dropped 0.1 per cent in November. This is compared to a fall of 0.2 per cent in October, and was mainly due to the smaller drop in private road transport cost, the release stated.
Core inflation, which excludes the cost of accommodation and private road transport, came in at 0.2 per cent, compared to 0.3 per cent in October. This mostly reflected the lower food and services inflation, MAS and MTI said.
CORE INFLATION TO PICK UP OVER 2016
MAS and MTI said looking to next year, external sources of inflation are "likely to stay generally benign", due to ample supply buffers in major commodity markets and weak global demand conditions.
"Notably, oil prices for the whole of 2016 are expected to remain low. While global food commodity prices could face some upward pressures due to the ongoing El Nino phenomenon, the price increases would be tempered by the availability of abundant food stockpiles," the release said.
MAS and MTI added that locally, some wage cost pressures remain, but their pass-through to consumer prices will "continue to be constrained by the subdued economic growth environment."
MAS Core Inflation is expected to pick up gradually over the course of 2016, the release said, as the year-on-year disinflationary effects of lower oil prices, as well as budgetary and other one-off measures, ease.
"For the full year, MAS Core Inflation is expected to come in at 0.5 to 1.5 per cent in 2016, compared to around 0.5 per cent in 2015," MAS and MTI said.
They added that consumer prices could continue to be dampened by lower car prices and imputed rentals on OOA, "due to an expected increase in the supply of COEs and newly-completed housing units."
CPI All-Items inflation is projected to average between -0.5 and 0.5 per cent in 2016, compared to around -0.5 per cent this year, according to the release.
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