Bloomberg News

Singapore’s Inflation Rate Holds Above 5% on Housing, Transport

November 23, 2011

Nov. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Singapore’s inflation rate exceeded 5 percent for a fifth month as prices of transportation and housing surged.

The consumer price index rose 5.4 percent in October from a year earlier, the Department of Statistics said in a statement today. That compares with the 5.2 percent median estimate of 16 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Inflation was 5.5 percent in September, according to previously reported data.

Singapore’s central bank, which uses the island’s dollar to manage prices, said last month it will slow gains in its currency, joining other Asian policy makers in trying to juggle inflation pressures with protecting growth amid a faltering global recovery. The trade ministry predicts economic expansion will slow next year and a central bank official said this week the monetary policy stance remains “appropriate.”

“Wage inflation pressures from the still tight labor market” may be keeping services costs and inflation elevated, Kit Wei Zheng, a Singapore-based economist at Citigroup Inc., said before the report. Accommodation costs are also a source of inflation, he said.

The Singapore dollar fell about 2.5 percent against its U.S. counterpart in the past month, the second-worst performer among 10 Asian currencies tracked by Bloomberg.

Inflation will average about 5 percent this year and 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent in 2012, the central bank said last month.

Prices rose 0.4 percent last month from September, without adjusting for seasonal factors, today’s report showed.

--Editors: Sunil Jagtiani, Cherian Thomas

To contact the reporter on this story: Shamim Adam in Singapore at sadam2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shamim Adam in Singapore at sadam2@bloomberg.net


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