Singapore Inflation January 2019

Singapore

Singapore: Inflation ticks down in January, undershooting market expectations

February 25, 2019

Consumer prices fell 0.3% over the previous month in January, contrasting the 0.1% increase recorded in December. According to data released by Statistics Singapore, the fall was primarily caused by lower prices for housing and utilities; and recreation and culture.

Inflation was 0.4% in January, down from December’s 0.5% and missing market analysts’ expectations of 0.6%. Meanwhile, annual average inflation inched higher to 0.5% in January from 0.4% in December.

Meanwhile, the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) core inflation measure, which omits the costs of accommodation and private road transport, edged lower to 1.7% in January, as a result of a softer price increase in the cost of electricity and gas. This was down from December’s 1.9% print and shy of the 1.9% market analysts projected.

Surprised by the result was Sanjay Mathur, chief economist of South East Asia and India, at ANZ Research, who noted:

“Both outturns were below our and market estimates. Nonetheless, the deviation from our forecasts was largely confined to the ‘recreation and culture’ component. […] As the January data does not show evidence of a broad-based easing of price pressures, we maintain that the MAS could tighten monetary policy again at the April policy review.”

In 2019, MAS expects CPI inflation to average between 0.5% and 1.5%, and core inflation to average between 1.5% and 2.5%. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect inflation to average 1.2% in 2019, which is down 0.1 percentage points from the previous month’s forecast. In 2020, panelists expect average inflation of 1.4%.


Author:, Economist

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Singapore Inflation Chart


Singapore Inflation January 2019

Note: Annual and monthly variation of consumer price index in %.
Source: Statistics Singapore (Singstat).


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