CPI-All Items inflation came in lower at 0.4% y-o-y in January, compared to 0.5% in December, mainly on account of a smaller rise in the cost of electricity & gas, which more than offset the stronger pickup in the cost of services, the Singapore Ministry of Trade and Industry has announced.
The cost of electricity & gas rose at a slower pace of 6.5% y-o-y in January, compared to the 14.6% increase in the previous month. This was largely due to a downward revision in electricity tariffs given lower oil prices in the preceding months, as well as the effect of the phased nationwide launch of the Open Electricity Market (OEM) on electricity prices.
The overall cost of retail items rose by 1.4% y-o-y in January, easing from the 1.7% increase in December. This mostly reflected a steeper decline in the prices of telecommunication equipment and recreation & entertainment goods, as well as a slower pace of increase in the prices of household durables & supplies.
Food inflation came in at 1.4% y-o-y in January, unchanged from the preceding month, as price increases for both non-cooked food items and prepared meals remained broadly the same. Services inflation picked up to 1.7% y-o-y in January, from 1.5% in the previous month. This was mainly on account of an increase in public transport fares, which outweighed a smaller rise in holiday expenses.
Private road transport costs declined by 3.4% y-o-y in January, a moderation from the 3.7% fall in December, as the pace of reduction in car prices eased, more than offsetting lower petrol prices.
Accommodation costs fell by 1.9% y-o-y in January, the same pace of decline as in the previous month, as a more gradual fall in housing rentals offset a smaller rise in the cost of housing maintenance & repairs.
Inflation as measured by CPI less imputed rentals on owner-occupied accommodation (OOA) moderated to 0.9% y-o-y in January, from 1.1% in the preceding month, as a smaller increase in the cost of electricity & gas more than offset higher services inflation.
MAS Core Inflation, which excludes the costs of accommodation and private road transport, eased to 1.7% y-o-y in January, from 1.9% in the previous month. This mainly reflected a slower pace of increase in the cost of electricity & gas, which outweighed higher services inflation.