Singapore April CPI rises 4.5 percent year-on-year

On Monday 23 May 2011, 14:17 SGT

Singapore's consumer prices in April rose by 4.5 percent from a year ago, the first time this year that inflation has fallen under 5 percent, as a strengthening currency cut the costs of imported goods.

According to the Department of Statistics, the year-on-year rise of the consumer price index (CPI) in April reflects higher costs of transport, housing and food.
Transport prices surged by 11.7 percent due to higher prices of cars and petrol, while the cost of housing went up by 5.1 percent owing to higher accommodation costs and electricity tariffs, it said in a press release.
The April CPI was up by 0.3 percent over that of March 2011 on account of higher costs again of transport and food, but as well as of "recreation and others" as a result of higher salaries for foreign maids and a rise in holiday travel costs.
On a seasonally-adjusted basis, the CPI remained unchanged in April 2011 from that of the previous month.
The strengthening of the Singapore dollar has helped cushion the inflationary impact of higher oil prices and other imported consumer goods.
According to Bloomberg, the local currency has gained more than 13 percent against the U.S. dollar in the past year to be the best performer in Asia excluding Japan, trading at S$1.2452 a dollar 12:54 p.m. local time.
The Singapore government has raised its 2011 growth forecast to a range of 5-7 percent from 4-6 percent on expectations that improved business and consumer spending in the West and Asia will boost the export-led economy.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore earlier warned that inflation in 2011 could come at the upper end of a 3-4 percent forecast, said Reuters.