SINGAPORE inflation eased in October, with headline inflation at -0.8 per cent compared with -0.6 per cent in September. This was mainly due to the lower costs of oil-related and retail items.
This meant core inflation, which excludes the costs of accommodation and private road transport, moderated as well to 0.3 per cent - lower than the previous month's 0.6 per cent.
The 11 economists polled by Bloomberg before the Department of Statistics released October's data on Monday, had forecast higher readings for both headline and core inflation, at -0.4 per cent and 0.6 per cent respectively.
"The cost of oil-related items fell by 10.1 per cent, extending the 8.4 per cent decline in the preceding month, as electricity tariffs were reduced further on the back of softer global oil prices," said the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) in joint comments.
"The overall price of retail items was 0.1 per cent lower, a reversal from the 0.6 per cent rise a month earlier, due to a smaller increase in the price of clothing & footwear and cheaper personal care products," added MAS and MTI.
Reflecting the soft housing rental market, accommodation costs were 3 per cent lower, extending the 2.9 per cent decline in September.
Private road transport cost fell by a more moderate 2.3 per cent in October, compared with the previous month's 3.2 per cent drop. This was due to a smaller decrease in petrol pump prices and higher electronic road pricing (ERP) charges.
Services inflation was stable at 0.8 per cent, and food inflation remained unchanged at 1.8 per cent.
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.