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Singapore September inflation rate below estimates

Staff Writer |
Singapore's annual inflation rate came in at 0.7 percent in September of 2018, unchanged from the previous month but below market consensus of 0.8 percent.

It remained at its the highest rate since May 2017, driven by an increase in prices of food while prices of housing and transport dropped at a slower pace.

In September, food inflation eased to 1.6 percent from 1.7 percent in a month earlier. Among food excluding food servicing services, cost increased for: oils & fats (0.7 percent vs 3.9 percent); fruit (3.3 percent vs 3.4 percent); sugar, preserves & confectionary (1.7 percent vs 3.3 percent); non-alcoholic beverages (2.2 percent vs 2.3 percent); fish and seafood (2.5 percent, the same pace as in August); bread & cereals (2.9 percent vs 2.3 percent); milk, cheese & eggs (1.5 percent vs 1.4 percent); and other food (2.1 percent vs 1.7 percent), while declined for both vegetables (-1.1 percent vs 0.4 percent) and meat (-0.3 percent vs -0.8 percent).

Among food servicing services, inflation rose for restaurant food (2.0 percent vs 1.9 percent), hawker food including food courts (1.6 percent vs 0.4 percent); while eased for fast food (0.2 percent vs 0.4 percent); and unchanged for catered food (at 1.7 percent).

Also, inflation slowed for recreation & culture (1.2 percent vs 1.6 percent in August), due to holiday expenses (2.7 percent, the same as in in the prior month).

Meanwhile, prices went up faster for household durables & services (0.8 percent vs 0.7 percent), mainly due to household services & supplies (1.3 percent, the same as in August); and education (2.9 percent vs 2.4 percent).

Also, prices rebounded for clothing & footwear (1.8 percent vs -0.6 percent). On the other hand, inflation was steady for miscellaneous goods & services (at 1.1 percent); healthcare (at 2 percent).

By contrast, prices continued to fall for: housing & utilities (-0.5 percent vs -0,6 percent); transport (-0.1 percent vs -0.2 percent), and communication (-1.6 percent vs -1.5 percent.

Core consumer prices, which exclude costs of accommodation and private road transport, increased by 1.8 percent from 1.9 percent in August and slightly below expectations of 1.9 percent.

On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices were flat, after a 0.4 percent rise in August.

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