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Singapore's inflation sees biggest drop in 5 years

Xinhua, September 23, 2015 Adjust font size:

Singapore's consumer price index in August fell 0.8 percent, the biggest year-on-year drop since November 2009, according to the latest data released by Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Wednesday.

The consumer price index (CPI) came in at minus 0.8 percent in August on a year-on-year basis, compared with minus 0.4 percent in July, mainly due to lower cost of private road transport, said MTI and MAS in the joint media release.

MAS core inflation, which excludes the cost of accommodation and private road transport, went up to 0.2 percent, compared with 0.4 percent in July, reflecting lower services and retail goods inflation.

Private road transport cost decreased by 2.9 percent following the 0.1 percent fall in July, as a result of the high base a year ago when Certificate of Entitlement (COE) premiums for cars saw a sharp increase, as well as the one-year road tax rebates for petrol vehicles, it said.

Accommodation cost also declined by 2.9 percent, extending the 2.8-percent drop in the previous month, as the housing rental market continued to soften.

Services inflation edged down to 0.5 percent in August, largely on account of the smaller increase in the cost of public road transport.

The cost of retail items fell by 0.6 percent, after coming in unchanged in July, mainly reflecting the decline in clothing and footwear prices.

Food inflation remained unchanged at 1.9 percent from the previous month, as price increases for both non-cooked food items and prepared meals were broadly stable.

Looking ahead, MAS said that external sources of inflation are expected to stay generally benign, given ample supply buffers in the major commodity markets. While some domestic cost pressures persist, the extent to which businesses are able to pass on accumulated costs to consumer prices could be tempered by the modest economic growth environment.

MAS said that for 2015 as a whole, MAS Core Inflation is projected to be between 0.5 to 1.5 percent, and CPI-All Items inflation between -0.5 percent and 0.5 percent. Endi