ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Singapore consumer prices up 0.2% in March

Price hikes for services and private transport were softer compared to the rates last month.

Consumer prices in Singapore rose 0.2% in March, lower than 0.5% hike in March, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) revealed. MAS core inflation rose much higher at 1.5%, albeit softer than the rate last month at 1.7%. "This largely reflected lower services inflation, and in the case of CPI-All Items inflation, a decline in private road transport cost as well," MTI said.

Consumer prices fell mostly due to a smaller increase in the prices of services and a fall in private road transport cost, MTI added.

The cost of private road transport fell by 0.6% in March, reversing the 0.6% increase in February, due to lower car prices following a decline in Certificate of Entitlement (COE) premiums.
Services inflation slowed to 1.4% in March from 1.9% in the previous month, mainly reflecting smaller year-ago increases in airfares and holiday expenses.

Food inflation dipped to 1.4% in March from 1.5% a month earlier due to a smaller increase in the prices of non-cooked food items and prepared meals. The cost of accommodation fell by 3.4% in March, moderating slightly from the 3.6% decline in the preceding month, as the fall in housing rentals eased.

Inflation, as measured by CPI less imputed rentals on owner-occupied accommodation (OOA), was lower at 1.2% in March, compared to 1.5% in the previous month. "This was largely on account of lower services and private road transport inflation," MTI said.

Meanwhile, MAS Core Inflation, which excludes the costs of accommodation and private road transport, eased to 1.5% in March from 1.7% in February, reflecting lower services inflation.

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