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Singapore’s core inflation rises 5%, beats forecasts

A VIEW of the city skyline in Singapore, Dec. 31, 2020 — REUTERS

SINGAPORE — Singapore’s key consumer price gauge rose 5% in April, higher than forecast, official data showed on Tuesday.

Core inflation — which excludes private road transport and accommodation costs — rose 5% year-on-year in April whereas a Reuters poll of economists had forecast a 4.7% increase.

Lower inflation for electricity, gas, food, retail and other goods was offset by higher inflation for travel-related services, according to a joint statement by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the trade ministry.

“Global supply chain frictions have eased, and consumer goods inflation in the advanced economies has moderated, even as overall core inflation is still high,” they said.

Jeff Ng, an economist at MUFG, said growing wages contributed to some price pressures.

“But the economy is showing some signs of slowing down and international prices for energy and food have retreated. This will help to moderate the inflation pressures going forward,” he added.

Headline inflation was up 5.7% year on year in April, compared with a forecast 5.5% increase in a Reuters poll.

The central bank said core inflation was expected to average 3.5% to 4.5% while headline inflation was forecast at 5.5% to 6.5% this year.

MAS left its monetary policy settings unchanged last month, reflecting concerns about Singapore’s growth outlook and surprising economists, who had expected another round of tightening due to elevated inflation. — Reuters

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