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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs    26 April  2016  

Singapore’s CPI falls 1 per cent in March
SINGAPORE’S consumer price index in March fell further by one per cent, according to the latest data released by Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) yesterday.

The consumer price index (CPI) came in at minus one per cent in March on a year-on-year basis, compared with minus 0.8 per cent in February, mainly on account of a significant decline in private road transport cost, said MTI and MAS in the joint media release.

MAS core inflation, which excludes the cost of accommodation and private road transport, edged up 0.6 per cent in March from 0.5 per cent a month ago, mostly on account of higher food inflation.

Private road transport cost fell at a faster pace of 5.9 per cent in March, compared to the 3.9 per cent decline a month earlier.

This was mainly due to a large drop in petrol pump prices on a year-ago basis, reflecting the higher base in March 2015 following the hike in petrol duties.

Car prices also saw a sharper decline due to lower Certificate of Entitlement (COE) premiums compared to the same period last year.

Accommodation cost decreased by 3.2 per cent, similar to the previous month, reflecting the soft housing rental market.

Overall services inflation moderated to 0.4 percent from 0.5 per cent a month earlier. While domestic services cost experienced a stronger pickup and air fares fell at a slower rate, this was more than offset by a larger decline in telecommunication services fees.

Food inflation rose to 2.2 per cent from 2.0 per cent in February, driven by a larger increase in the prices of non-cooked food items, including fish & seafood, vegetables and meat.

The higher prices were partly due to weather-related supply disruptions in neighbouring countries. Hawker food prices also rose at a slightly faster pace.

MAS core inflation is expected to pick up gradually over the course of the year, as the disinflationary effects of oil as well as budgetary and other one-off measures ease. However, the increase in core inflation will be milder than earlier expected, given the weaker external price outlook, subdued growth prospects, and a reduction in labour market tightness, the authority said.

The authorities also projected that for 2015 as a whole, MAS core inflation is likely to be in the lower half of the 0.51.5 per cent forecast range, while CPI-All Items inflation is projected to remain negative throughout 2016, and average -1.00.0 per cent for the whole year.--Xinhua

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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