Singapore’s CPI rises to 0.6 pct in March, full-year core inflation revised

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SINGAPORE, April 23 (Xinhua) -- Singapore’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) grew 0.6 percent year on year in March, following the 0.5-percent increase in February, said the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in a joint release on Tuesday.

The authorities attribute the slight upswing of the CPI to the rises of services and food prices in March.

Meanwhile, the MAS Core Inflation, which excludes the costs of accommodation and private road transport, further eased from 1.5 percent in the previous month to 1.4 percent this March on a year-on-year basis, as the increases of costs of retails and electricity and gas offset the higher prices of services and food, said the authorities.

The authorities predict in the release that an acceleration in inflationary pressures on Singapore is unlikely against the backdrop of slower GDP growth, uncertainties in the global economy, as well as the continuing restraining effects of MAS’ monetary policy tightening in 2018.

Considering the impact of the fall in global oil prices in late 2018 and a sharper-than-anticipated decline in electricity prices following the roll-out of the nationwide move to open the domestic electricity market, the authorities have kept the forecast for CPI in 2019 unchanged at a range of 0.5-1.5 percent while that for the MAS Core Inflation has been revised to 1-2 percent from 1.5-2.5 percent previously, according to the joint release.

Selena Ling, Head of Treasury Research & Strategy, OCBC Bank, predicts that for the full-year 2019, the country’s CPI growth and core inflation are expected to average at 0.5 percent and 1.5 percent on a year-on-year basis, respectively. Enditem

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