Apr 24, 2014

    S'pore prices up 1.2% in March

    SINGAPORE'S consumer prices rose 1.2 per cent last month from a year ago, as inflation rebounded from February's four-year low of 0.4 per cent on the back of rising food and health-care costs.

    This was slightly above the 1.1 per cent the market was expecting, going by the median forecast of 19 economists polled by Bloomberg before Singapore's Department of Statistics released price data yesterday.

    Food inflation rose to 2.9 per cent last month, from 2.3 per cent in February, while health-care inflation eased to 3.4 per cent last month, from 4 per cent in February.

    These contributed to a rise in the MAS core inflation measure, which strips out volatile accommodation and private transport prices.

    Core inflation picked up to 2 per cent last month from February's 1.6 per cent.

    Accommodation costs rose 1.7 per cent year-on-year last month, while private road transport costs fell 2.8 per cent.

    On April 14, the central bank lowered its 2014 headline inflation forecast to 1.5-2.5 per cent, given the weaker outlook for rentals.