Singapore Inflation Climbs To 3.1%

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Singapore's consumer price inflation increased more-than-expected in May to the highest level in three months amid higher private transport charges, data published by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Ministry of Trade and Industry showed on Monday.

The consumer price index, or CPI, climbed 3.1 percent year-over-year in May, faster than the 2.7 percent stable increase in the previous month. Economists had expected inflation to rise to 3.0 percent.

Data showed that MAS core inflation remained stable at 3.1 percent in May.

Month-on-month, core consumer prices edged up 0.1 percent in May. The total CPI rose 0.7 versus a 0.1 percent gain in the prior month.

Among the main categories, private transport inflation accelerated to 2.8 percent from 0.3 percent as the prices of cars and motorcycles rose and petrol prices increased at a faster pace.

Costs for services grew at a slightly faster rate of 3.6 percent in May after a 3.5 percent increase in April. The upward trend was attributed to a larger increase in holiday expenses and a smaller decline in airfares.

At the same time, food inflation held steady at 2.8 percent, and electricity and gas inflation slowed to 6.9 percent from 7.6 percent on account of a smaller increase in electricity prices.

Core inflation is expected to stay on a gradual moderating trend over the rest of the year and step down more discernibly in the fourt quarter of 2024 as import cost pressures continue to decline and tightness in the domestic labor market eases, the MAS said.

Domestically, increases in unit labor costs are expected to slow over the course of the year in tandem with the cooling labor market. Businesses will continue passing through accumulated labor costs to consumers, though at a reduced pace.

For 2024 as a whole, both headline and core inflation are projected to average 2.5 to 3.5 percent.

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