Housing costs push Singapore inflation to 1.4%

According to authorities, the increase was mainly due to the uptick in the cost of housing maintenance & repairs.

HDB flats in Singapore
A view of a newly constructed public housing estate in Singapore Reuters

Singapore's headline inflation rose to 1.4 per cent in May from 0.4 per cent in May on the back of the base effects associated with the timing of the disbursement of Service & Conservancy Charges (S&CC) rebates.

According to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), the increase was mainly due to the uptick in the cost of housing maintenance & repairs. This has caused the cost of accommodation to decline by a smaller 1.5 per cent in contrast to the 6.7 per cent in April.

Meanwhile, the spending on electricity and gas grew at a faster pace, up 19.1 per cent in the said month compared to the 18.7 per cent previously. This is due to the increase in gas tariffs as global oil prices recovered in the past several months.

Food inflation clocked a 1.5 per cent growth in May, a slight increase from 1.3 per cent. the larger increase in the prices of non-cooked food items drove the slight upside. Costs of prepared meals rose at a similar pace in the past two months.

In terms or road transport, inflation eased to 6.1 per cent, following the 7 per cent growth in April. The relaxed cost was on account of moderate increases in car and petrol prices.

Holiday expenses and airfares have pulled services inflation by 1.4 per cent in the month.

MAS' Core Inflation for the month was 1.6 per cent, lower than 1.7 per cent in April. The fall in services inflation, which more than offset the pickup in food as well as electricity and gas inflation resulted in the easing of Core Inflation.