The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said in a joint press release on Tuesday that Singapore’s consumer price index for all items (CPI-All Items) inflation decreased to -0.7 percent in April from 0 percent in March.
The CPI-All Items inflation turned negative in April due to larger declines in the costs of private transport, services, as well as retail and other goods, they said.
Meanwhile, the MAS core inflation, which excludes the costs of accommodation and private road transport, fell to -0.3 percent in April, from -0.2 percent in March, mainly due to steeper declines in the costs of services and the costs of retail and other goods.
Singapore’s private transport costs fell more steeply at -5.5 percent in April, compared to -0.3 percent in March, due to a sharp drop in car prices, a larger decline in petrol prices, and the suspension of Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) charges.
The services inflation fell from -0.7 percent in March to -1.1 percent in April, due to sharper declines in holiday expenses and air fares, as well as a smaller increase in domestic household services costs.
According to the press release, the prices of holiday expenses and airfares were not available in April 2020 due to international measures to contain the COVID-19 outbreak, thus the changes in the prices of these components were imputed using the overall price change implied by the CPI-All Items, in line with international guidelines.
The retail and other goods inflation was -1.6 percent in April, compared to -0.9 percent in March. The larger decline was on account of a sharp drop in the price of telecommunication equipment, as well as a bigger fall in the prices of personal effects such as travel goods.
MTI and MAS reiterated in the press release that Singapore’s inflation is expected to remain subdued. Both MAS Core Inflation and CPI-All Items inflation are forecast to average between -1 percent and 0 percent in 2020.
Source: China – ASEAN Business Council