Singapore's Jan CPI may have risen at fastest pace in 2 years

Singapore's Jan CPI may have risen at fastest pace in 2 years
PHOTO: The Straits Times

Singapore's consumer price index for January is expected to have risen at the fastest pace in more than two years, buoyed by higher fuel prices and private transport costs, a Reuters poll showed.

Singapore's all-items CPI escaped deflation late last year and is seen likely to edge higher this year, after global oil prices rose roughly 50 per cent in 2016.

With headline CPI edging higher, and the city-state's economy having gained momentum in recent months on the back of a pick-up in factory output, most economists expect the central bank to keep monetary policy steady at its next scheduled policy review in April, and hold off from further easing.

The median forecast in a Reuters survey of 11 economists was for the all-items CPI in January to have risen 0.6 per cent from a year earlier. That would be the biggest increase since September 2014, when headline CPI rose 0.7 per cent.

The all-items CPI rose 0.2 per cent in December after coming in flat in November. December's rise was the first year-on-year gain in headline CPI in two years, driven by higher petrol prices and car park fees.

The poll also forecast the Monetary Authority of Singapore's core inflation measure to have increased 1.3 per cent from a year earlier last month.

That would match November's pace, which was the fastest increase since a 1.3 per cent rise in February 2015.

In December core CPI rose 1.2 per cent from a year ago.

The central bank's core inflation measure excludes changes in the price of cars and accommodation, which are influenced more by government policies.

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