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Singapore headline inflation up 0.7% in March

Monday, April 24, 2017 - 13:54

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Prices in Singapore rose at the same clip for March, brought on by rising prices abroad and weakening wage pressures at home.

PRICES in Singapore rose at the same clip for March, brought on by rising prices abroad and weakening wage pressures at home.

The headline inflation came in at 0.7 per cent year-on-year, while core inflation rose 1.2 per cent, said the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Monetary Authority of Singapore in a joint release on Monday.

March's hikes in consumer price index and core inflation, together with their drivers, were similar to February.

Looking ahead, the agencies expect prices from abroad to rise further. "External inflationary pressures have picked up amid a turnaround in global commodity markets. Global oil prices have risen from their trough in the previous year, and are likely to average higher in 2017," said the release.

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It, however, sounded caution on the labour market here. "Conditions in the labour market have slackened, and this is expected to dampen underlying wage pressures, even as commercial and retail rents have eased," it said.

This will have knock-on effects on businesses in coping with cost pressures. "The subdued economic environment will also limit the extent to which businesses pass on higher import and administrative costs to consumers."

For 2017, core inflation is expected to average one to 2 per cent, compared with 0.9 per cent in 2016. Headline inflation, or CPI-all inflation, is projected to rise to 0.5-1.5 per cent from -0.5 per cent last year.

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