SINGAPORE inflation picked up slightly in September, with headline inflation at -0.6 per cent compared with -0.8 per cent the month before. This was mostly due to a stronger pick-up in the prices of consumer services and retail items.
Core inflation, which excludes the costs of accommodation and private road transport, rose too to 0.6 per cent - higher than August's 0.2 per cent.
The -0.6 per cent headline reading came in exactly at the market's forecast, according to a Bloomberg poll conducted before the Department of Statistics released September's data on Friday.
The core inflation reading, however, was higher than private sector economists' 0.4 per cent projection.
"Services inflation rose to 0.8 per cent in September from 0.5 per cent in the previous month. This mainly reflected the rise in healthcare services fees and public road transport cost, as the dampening effects of enhanced medical subsidies and SG50-related price promotions dissipated," 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 0.6 per cent higher, reversing the 0.6 per cent drop in the preceding month, largely due to more costly clothing & footwear and household durables," added MAS and MTI.
For the full year, the government 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.