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Singapore inflation eases to -0.8% in Nov as food prices soften

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Inflation in Singapore eased for the 13th straight month as latest figures showed that headline inflation came in at -0.8 per cent in November, unchanged from October.

INFLATION in Singapore eased for the 13th straight month as latest figures showed that headline inflation came in at -0.8 per cent year-on-year in November, unchanged from October.

The easing of prices of food and services helped offset the firm price levels seen in private road transport costs, said the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in a joint release issued on Wednesday.

Lower inflation for food and services also had its impact on core inflation, which excludes the costs of accommodation and private road transport. This came in at 0.2 per cent for November, compared to 0.3 per cent in the previous month.

Food inflation moderated to 1.6 per cent from 1.8 per cent in October, on account of a slower rise in the prices of non-cooked food and restaurant meals.

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Private road transport costs fell by a more modest 1.7 per cent on the back of higher oil prices as compared to a year ago. October saw a 2.3 per cent decline.

Overall services inflation edged down to 0.7 per cent from 0.8 per cent in October due to the lower cost of healthcare services following the introduction of MediShield Life, a basic health insurance plan administered by the Central Provident Fund Board, said the statement.

Meanwhile, holiday travel cost rose at a faster pace, alongside a more moderate decline in air fares.

Accommodation cost was 3 per cent lower in November, similar to the drop in the previous month, reflecting the soft housing rental market.

MAS and MTI reiterated the government's inflation projections. For the full year, it expects core inflation at 0.5 per cent and headline inflation at -0.5 per cent. For 2016, it sees core inflation coming in at 0.5 to 1.5 per cent, and overall inflation at -0.5 to 0.5 per cent.

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