Singapore’s core inflation eased to 1.7 per cent year-on-year in November from 1.9 per cent the previous month, according to the latest figures released on Dec 24.

A sharper fall in private road transport costs, and to a lesser extent, smaller increases in the prices of services, retail items and electricity and gas, more than offset a slower pace of decline in accommodation costs, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI).

Headline inflation also eased to 0.3 per cent, down from 0.7 per cent the previous month and lower than economists’ expected 0.6 per cent. This mainly reflected a steeper fall in private road transport costs. These fell 3.6 per cent in November, steeper than October’s 0.6 per cent decline, due to lower car prices and Certificate of Entitlement premiums, as well as a smaller rise in petrol prices.

Services inflation came in lower at 1.2% y-o-y in November, compared to 1.4% in the previous month, as a larger decline in telecommunication services fees and a more modest increase in holiday expenses outweighed a stronger pickup in recreational & cultural services fees.

The overall cost of retail items rose by 1.1% y-o-y in November, moderating from the 1.3% increase in October. This mostly reflected lower inflation for telecommunication equipment, clothing & footwear items, household durables and medical products, which more than offset a larger increase in the prices of personal care products.

The cost of electricity & gas increased at a slower pace of 15.4% y-o-y in November, compared to the 16.6% rise in the preceding month. The lower rate of inflation reflected the effect of the phased nationwide launch of the Open Electricity Market (OEM) on electricity prices.

Food inflation came in at 1.4% y-o-y in November, unchanged from the previous month, as price increases for both non-cooked food items and prepared meals remained broadly the same.

Accommodation costs fell by 2.1% y-o-y in November, less than the 2.5% decline in October, on account of a more gradual fall in housing rentals, as well as a larger increase in the cost of housing maintenance & repairs.