25 JANUARY 2023 – Core consumer prices in Singapore remained unchanged for three straight months due to higher costs for food and services ahead of the Lunar New Year and a tax hike.
Economists believe this signals that taming core inflation will remain challenging this year, even as price rises are expected to cool further.
Core inflation, which excludes costs of private transport and accommodation and reflects the expenses of Singapore households more accurately, came in at 5.1% year on year, a tad higher than the 5% expected by analysts in a Bloomberg poll. The figure was unchanged from November and October, which marked the first dip since February 2022. September’s rate was 5.3 per cent.
December’s headline consumer price index (CPI), or overall inflation, fell to 6.5% from November’s 6.7%, on the back of lower private transportation inflation. The December figure is also lower than the 6.6% forecast by analysts.
OCBC chief economist Selena Ling said core inflation will remain challenging in 2023, “maybe because of domestic price pressure points” such as the one percentage point goods and services tax (GST) hike earlier this month, wage inflation due to the still tight local labour market, food inflation, as well as local firms passing on higher cumulative costs to end-consumers.
Read more on The Straits Times