Singapore's headline inflation edges up slightly to -0.2% in December

SINGAPORE's headline inflation remained in negative territory at -0.2 per cent in December, from -0.3 per cent in November.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said in joint comments that this was "mainly on account of base effects associated with fluctuations in car Certificate of Entitlement (COE) premiums" - the same reason behind November's fall in prices.

The median forecast of 12 economists polled by Reuters before the Department of Statistics (DOS) released the data on Friday was for a -0.1 per cent year-on-year headline inflation figure.

Core inflation, which excludes the costs of accommodation and private road transport, remained stable at 1.5 per cent in December as in November. This was due to stable services inflation (1.4 per cent) and food inflation (2.9 per cent).

MAS and MTI again cautioned that inflation in 2015 could come in lower than expected, "should global oil prices be sustained at current low levels". According to official forecasts, headline inflation is expected at 0.5-1.5 per cent and core inflation at 2-3 per cent this year.

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