Singapore April CPI +0.4%; Core Inflation Accelerates

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.

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.

"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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

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