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Singapore Inflation Unexpectedly Accelerates In December

Singapore's inflation rose slightly in December, defying expectations, data from the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Ministry of Trade and Industry showed on Wednesday.

The consumer price inflation rose to 0.5 percent in December from 0.3 percent in November. Economists had expected the rate to remain unchanged.

In the months through August to October, inflation was 0.7 percent each.

The latest inflation rate reflected higher prices for services and retail items, as well as a smaller decline in accommodation costs.

MAS core inflation, which excludes the costs of accommodation and private road transport, slowed to 1.9 percent from 1.7 percent in the previous month, reflecting in higher retail and services inflation.

On a month-on-month basis, overall consumer prices rose 0.1 percent in December after a 0.2 percent gain in November.

Meanwhile, MAS core CPI climbed 0.3 percent after a fall of 0.1 percent.

For the whole of 2018, the CPI-All Items inflation slowed to 0.4 percent from 0.6 percent in 2017. MAS core inflation climbed to 1.7 percent from 1.5 percent.

The statistical office and the ministry forecast MAS core inflation in the range of 1.5 to 2.5 percent this year. Headline inflation is expected to average between 1 percent and 2 percent this year, as the overall drag from accommodation and private road transport costs lessens.

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