April 18, 2019 / 9:00 AM / 5 months ago

Singapore's March CPI seen edging up at 0.6 percent year-on-year: Reuters poll

A woman pushes a shopping cart at a supermarket in Singapore May 3, 2016. REUTERS/Edgar Su

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore’s annual headline and core inflation are expected to have accelerated in March due to higher transport costs, a Reuters poll showed on Thursday.

Singapore’s consumer price index probably rose 0.6 percent in March on an annual basis, the poll of 10 economists showed, accelerating slightly from 0.5 percent in February.

“Headline inflation is expected to edge up in March mainly due to a softer decline in private transport costs,” Maybank Kim Eng economist Lee Ju Ye said.

The poll also showed that the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) core inflation measure was likely up 1.7 percent from a year earlier in March, compared to a 1.5 percent rise the previous month.

The central bank’s core inflation measure excludes changes in the prices of cars and accommodation, which are influenced more by government policies.

Singapore last week revised down its 2019 core inflation forecast - a measure closely watched by economists - to 1 to 2 percent, from 1.5 to 2.5 percent previously, following an earlier downgrade to its headline inflation view in February.

It also kept its monetary settings unchanged after two consecutive rounds of tightening, as policymakers expect slower growth and inflation for the city-state in the face of ‘significant’ global economic risks.

Reporting by Fathin Ungku; Editing by Shreejay Sinha

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