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Singapore inflation rate steady at 0.4% in October

Staff Writer |
Consumer prices in Singapore increased 0.4% from a year earlier in October of 2017, the same pace as in the prior month but below market expectations of 0.5% rise.

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The inflation figure remained the lowest since April, as cost of food increased at a faster pace while transport inflation was similar from the preceding month.

Year-on-year, prices went up less than in a month earlier for: household durables & services (0.7% from 0.8%, largely due to a 2.1% increase in household services & supplies); education (2.6% from 2.7%), due to a 2.6% rise in tuition & other fees and a 0.9% gain in school textbooks & related study guides.

Also, inflation of health care rose less ( 2.2% from 2.5%), mainly due to a 2.8% rise in medical & dental treatment; and communication (1.0% from 1.3%).

Cost rose at faster pace for: clothing & footwear (0.7% from 0.5% in September); miscellaneous goods & services (0.9% from 0.7%, due to a 0.2% rise in alcoholic drinks & tobacco, a 3.3% rise in personal effects, a 0.1% increase in personal care, and a 2.1% rise in other miscellaneous expenditure; recreation & culture (0.7% from 0.4%, due to a 1% rise in recreation, a 0.1% increase in newspapers, books&stationery, and a 0.5% rise in holiday expenses.

Inflation was steady for transport (1.1%, largely due to a 2.2% rise in private road transport).

Prices of food rose 1.5%, following a 1.2% rise in the previous month. Among food excluding food servicing services, cost increased for all categories : milk, cheese & eggs (0.7%); fish & seafood (1.5%); oils & fats (2.2%); fruits (2.5%); sugar, preserves & confectionery (0.8%); vegetables (4%); other food ( 2%); meat (1.1%); non-alcoholic beverages (1.9%), and bread & cereals (0.6%).

Also, among food servicing services, prices went up for all categories: restaurant foods (1%); fast food (0.9%), hawker food including food courts (1.6%), and catered food (1.3%).

On the other hand, cost fell for housing & utilities (-2.7% from -2.3%, mainly due to a 4.2% decline in accomodation).

Core consumer prices which exclude costs of accommodation and private road transport, rose 1.5%, the same pace as in September and in line with market expectations

On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices fell 0.3%, after being flat in a month earlier.

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