Singapore inflation expectations edge up in Dec but geopolitical worries weigh: survey

Singapore inflation
Customers shop at a vegetable and fruits wholesale market in Singapore Reuters

The inflation expectations of Singaporeans edged up to 2.97 percent in December as geopolitical uncertainties offset recovery in global economic growth, according to the findings of a Singapore Management University survey released on Tuesday.

The median expectations for headline inflation was slightly higher from 2.93 percent recorded in September last year.

"Global policy uncertainty impacts Singapore inordinately as we are a small open economy. This is especially so for policies that might be detrimental to multilateral trade, including the imposition of higher trade barriers with the ensuing volatile global prices and fluctuating currencies," SMU Assistant Professor of Finance Aurobindo Ghosh from SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business and Co-developer of SInDEx said.

"Having said that, a strong Singapore dollar and global market conditions seems to have kept a lid on unhinged inflation expectations both in the medium and long term."

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The survey also revealed that the public now expects core inflation, which excludes accommodation and private transport costs, to rise to 2.91 percent, higher than 2.89 percent in September.

The data for the SInDEx survey was collected online from about 500 consumers, and the sampling was done using a quota sample over gender, age and residency status to ensure the sample's representativeness, said SMU.

This article was first published on January 16, 2018