Singapore: Inflation remains elevated in the first quarter
April 25, 2011
In March, consumer prices increased 0.1% over the previous month. The reading came in well below the 0.8% average price rise registered in the January-February period but matched the 0.1% increase tallied in March 2010. The modest monthly reading reflected higher prices for clothing and footwear (+2.5% month-on-month) as well as housing (+0.6% mom), partly offset by lower transport costs (-0.6% mom). Annual average inflation, which is the reference for monetary policy decisions, continues to rise, stepping up from 3.6% in February to 3.9% in March. Annual inflation remained unchanged at 5.0%, hovering above the government's target for a fourth consecutive month, but nonetheless surprising market expectations to the downside, as analysts had expected a 5.1% inflation rate.