Singapore Inflation Eases More Than Expected In December

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Singapore's consumer price inflation eased at a faster-than-expected pace in December, data from the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Ministry of Trade and Industry showed Tuesday.

Consumer prices climbed 0.4 percent year-over-year in December, slower than the 0.6 percent rise in November. Economists had expected the inflation to moderate to 0.5 percent.

The slowdown in December was largely on account of lower private road transport and services inflation.

Private road transport inflation slowed to 2.6 percent in December from 4.1 percent in the prior month. Services inflation dropped from 1.6 percent to 1.3 percent.

Food inflation dropped marginally to 1.4 percent from 1.5 percent, as a smaller increase in the prices of non-cooked food items more than offset slightly higher food services inflation.

MAS Core Inflation, which excludes the costs of accommodation and private road transport, eased to 1.3 percent in December from 1.5 percent in the previous month, mainly due to lower services inflation.

Month-on-month, consumer prices edged down 0.1 percent in December, reversing a 0.6 percent increase in November.

For the whole of 2017, CPI-All Items inflation came in at 0.6 percent, reversing two consecutive years of negative inflation.

MAS Core Inflation averaged 1.5 percent in 2017 and is expected to stay in the 1-2 percent range in 2018. Meanwhile, CPI-All Items inflation came in at 0.6 percent in 2017 and is projected to be 0-1 percent this year.