Singapore April CPI +0.4%; Core Inflation Accelerates

By Gaurav Raghuvanshi Features Dow Jones Newswires

Singapore's consumer prices rose at a slower-than-expected pace in April, due mainly to a sharper decline in housing rentals when compared with the previous year.

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The consumer price index rose 0.4% year-over-year in April, compared with the median estimate for a 0.7% rise in a poll of six economists by The Wall Street Journal, and a 0.7% rise in March.

Housing and utilities costs, which make up 26.3% of the index, fell 4.6% from a year earlier due to a 6.7% fall in the cost of accommodation on lower rentals and lower costs of house maintenance and repairs.

Food prices, which have a 21.7% weighting in the index, rose 1.3% from a year earlier, the same pace as in March as a rise in noncooked food was offset by a smaller increase in the prices of prepared meals, the data showed.

The cost of transportation, which has an index weighting of 15.8%, gained 4.7% in April from a year earlier after car and gas prices gained, the data showed.

The central bank's core inflation rate, which strips out private road transportation and accommodation costs, accelerated to 1.7% in April from 1.2% in the previous month, reflecting higher electricity and gas prices.

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"External inflationary pressures have picked up amid a turnaround in global commodity markets," the central bank and government said in a joint statement. However, conditions in the local labor market have slackened and are expected to damp underlying wage pressures, it said.

Write to Gaurav Raghuvanshi at gaurav.raghuvanshi@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 23, 2017 01:14 ET (05:14 GMT)