S’pore consumer prices post 2.4pc rise in May

24 June, 2021 12:00 AM printer

SINGAPORE: Singapore consumer prices rose at a faster clip in May, up by 2.4 per cent year on year, with a boost from the low base of a pandemic-related downturn the year prior.

Headline inflation has now registered its highest level since May 2013. It was a pick-up from 2.1 per cent the month before, and also higher than economists’ median estimate of 2.2 per cent in a poll, report agencies.

Core inflation stood at 0.8 per cent, rising from 0.6 per cent in April, according to data on Wednesday. Private-sector analysts had projected a print of 0.7 per cent.

Domestically, the ongoing Phase 3 (Heightened Alert) situation “could have an overall dampening effect on the pick-up in underlying inflation”, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said in a joint statement. That’s even as they reiterated that core inflation “will continue to gradually increase”, while all-items inflation should stay high in the near term and ease in the second half. Inflation in May was driven by stronger price increases in services, private transport and accommodation, as well as a smaller decline in retail goods costs, they noted.