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OVERALL prices in Singapore fell by 0.2 per cent in the second half of 2016 when compared to the same period in 2015, with lower- and middle-income households seeing deeper falls than the higher-income group, which saw no change.
However, stripping away the effects of imputed rentals on owner-occupied accommodation (OOA), prices actually increased by 0.7 per cent, Singapore's Department of Statistics said in a release on Monday.
The consumer price index (CPI) for all items for the lowest 20 per cent and middle 60 per cent income groups fell by 0.8 per cent and 0.3 per cent respectively in the six months ended December 2016, when compared to the same period in 2015. Prices were unchanged for the highest 20 per cent group.
The fall in prices for the lowest 20 per cent income group "was mainly due to a fall in accommodation costs and electricity tariffs", as these items accounted for a higher share of expenditure for them, said DOS. This group also experienced a smaller increase in the cost of healthcare services as compared to the other income groups.
For the highest-income group, the fall in accommodation costs and electricity tariffs was offset by increases in food prices, tuition and other fees, and road tax. This resulted in the group's CPI remaining unchanged.
Excluding OOA prices, the lowest-income group saw prices increase by 0.6 per cent, the middle group experienced a 0.7 per cent increase, while the highest-income group saw a rise of 0.8 per cent.
The second half of 2016 in general saw softer price decreases compared to the first half of 2016. CPI-All Items for the lowest-income group had dipped 1.3 per cent in the first half, while the middle-income group saw prices falling by 0.7 per cent. The highest-income group saw prices fall by 1.1 per cent. Prices fell by 0.9 per cent for all households.