Inflation unexpectedly fell last month as a decline in private road transport costs more than offset an increase in food prices.All items inflation inched down to 1.4 per cent in January from 1.5 per cent the previous month, according to today’s (Feb 24) joint statement from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
The January result was below the 1.6 per cent on year increase forecast in a Reuters poll of economists, some of whom expected inflation to creep higher because of an increase in food costs related to the Lunar New Year holiday.
In the joint statement, MAS and MTI pointed out that food inflation increased to 3 per cent from 2.7 per cent in December as result of upward pressure on prices during the festive season.
However, pulling the overall inflation rate lower was a fall in private road transport costs as a result of lower Certificate of Entitlement premiums.
Private road transport costs fell by 3.5 per cent in January, accelerating from the 2.8 per cent decline the previous month.