, Singapore

Singapore's food inflation eases to 2.3% in February

Lower inflation for non-cooked food offset higher inflation for prepared meals.

Singapore's food inflation in February eased to 2.3% on a year-on-year basis from 2.6% the month before, according to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI).

Lower inflation for non-cooked food such as fish and seafood, fruits and vegetables more than offset higher inflation for prepared meals, the departments said.

Core inflation in February eased to 2.2% on a year-on-year basis, down from the 2.4% in January, which was also reflected in services, electricity and gas.

February's consumer price index (CPI) or overall inflation, came in at 4.3% year-on-year, up from 4%.

CPI covers only consumption expenditure incurred by resident households and excludes
non-consumption expenditures such as purchases of houses, shares and other financial
assets and income taxes.

"Global inflation is expected to stay high for some time before easing in the latter half of the year," MAS and MTI said. "In the near term, heightened geopolitical risks and tight supply conditions will keep crude oil prices elevated."

"Supply-demand mismatches in commodity markets due in part to geopolitical factors, bottlenecks in global transportation, as well as labour shortages in a number of Singapore’s major trading partners are also likely to persist,” they added.

Electricity and gas inflation in February dropped to 16.7% from 17.2% the month before. Services inflation dipped to 2% from 2.4%.

Private transport inflation, meanwhile, rose to 17.2% from 14% car prices picked up at a stronger pace. Accommodation inflation also rose by 0.2% to 3.3% in February.

The cost of retail and other goods also increased to 0.2% from a decline of 0.3%.

"On the domestic front, the labour market should continue to tighten and lead to strengthened wage pressures over the course of the year," MAS and MTI noted. "Cost increases are likely to filter through to higher services prices as private consumption picks up."

"For 2022 as a whole, MAS core inflation is projected to average 2–3% while CPI-All Items inflation is forecast to come in within 2.5–3.5%,” they added.

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