Singapore’s December CPI seen edging higher to 0.4 year-on-year: Reuters poll

People shop in a supermarket in Singapore
People shop in a supermarket in Singapore April 24, 2017. REUTERS/Edgar Su

January 21, 2019

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Singapore’s consumer price index likely edged higher in December from a year earlier, a Reuters poll showed on Monday.

The city-state’s headline consumer price index (CPI) probably rose to 0.4 percent in December from a year earlier, the poll of 10 economists showed, accelerating slightly from the 0.3 percent reported the month before.

ANZ said in a note to clients that higher prices were due to higher food and healthcare costs, but the effects of those were offset by lower transport and communication costs.

The poll also showed that the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) core inflation measure likely rose 1.7 percent in December from a year earlier, but unchanged from the previous month.

The central bank’s core inflation measure – which excludes changes in the price of cars and accommodation – is seen as a gauge more closely watched by policymakers who have tightened policy in both of their semi-annual meetings this year.

“An improving labor market is expected to see domestic price pressures build in 2019,” ANZ said, however, adding that recent declines in oil prices will offset the price pressures.

At its meeting in October, MAS said the city-state’s economy is likely to expand steadily barring a setback to global growth from trade frictions between the United States and China.

(Reporting by Fathin Ungku; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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