Singapore
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Singapore's core inflation up 3.3% in April, fuelled by hikes in electricity and gas tariffs

SINGAPORE - Singapore's core inflation, which excludes accommodation and private transport costs, continued to peak in April, fueled by higher inflation for electricity and gas, as well as food and retail.

The core inflation rate, which is the Monetary Authority of Singapore's (MAS) preferred measure, rose 3.3 per cent year on year in April, up from the decade-high of 2.9 per cent in March.

MAS and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said core inflation is forecast to pick up further in the coming months, before moderating towards the end of the year as some of the external inflationary pressures recede.

Still, there remains upside risks to inflation from geopolitical and pandemic-related shocks.

April's overall inflation, or headline consumer price index, came in at 5.4 per cent year on year, unchanged from March.

MAS and MTI said on Monday (May 23) that the pick-up in inflation was offset by a moderation in private transport inflation.

Private transportation inflation was 18.3 per cent year on year in April, down from 21.5 per cent in March, led by the smaller increase in car prices.

But electricity and gas prices jumped 19.7 per cent year on year in April, up from 17.8 per cent in March, due to larger hikes in electricity and gas tariffs.

Also on the rise was food inflation which came in at 4.1 per cent in April from a year ago, as non-cooked food and food services rose at a faster pace.

Accommodation inflation in April edged up to 3.9 per cent year on year, alongside a stronger pace of increase in housing rents.

MAS and MTI warned that external inflationary pressures continue to be strong amid elevated global commodity prices, as well as ongoing supply chain frictions driven by both the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the regional pandemic situation.

In the near term, heightened geopolitical risks and tight supply conditions will keep crude oil prices elevated, they said, adding that prices of other commodities, such as food, are also expected to stay high amid supply-demand mismatches, as well as bottlenecks in global transportation and regional supply chains.

For the year as a whole, consumer price inflation is forecast to come in between 4.5 and 5.5 per cent, while core inflation is projected to average 2.5 to 3.5 per cent.