area51gac

Half Mag / Half Zine

Singapore’s key consumer price gauge rose 5.1% in October, slightly less than forecast and marking the first easing in eight months, official data showed on Wednesday, due to smaller rises in prices of utilities, retail, other goods and services.

Analysts had said the reduced pace of increase should leave some space for the central bank to refrain from further tightening next year, and to focus more on dealing with the slowing economy.

The core inflation rate – the central bank’s favoured price measure which excludes private transport and accommodation – rose to 5.1% in October on a year-on-year basis, slower than the 5.3% seen in September. A Reuters poll of economists had forecast a 5.3% increase in October.

Headline inflation came in at 6.7%, a drop from the 7.5% increment in September. The economists’ forecast for October was 7.1%.

The central bank had earlier said core inflation was likely to remain elevated at about 5% for the rest of 2022 and into the first half of 2023.

The city-state tightened monetary policy last month for the fourth time this year to combat inflation.

“Our base case is for the MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore) to refrain from further FX-policy tightening in 2023, though the risk of more adjustments remains significant,” said Brian Tan, Barclays’ Senior Regional Economist, while reducing his 2022 core inflation forecast to 4.1% from 4.2%.