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December 24, 2009

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Singapore's CPI rises slightly as deflation eases

SINGAPORE'S consumer prices fell 0.2 percent from a year earlier in November, the smallest decline in eight months as deflation eases amid an economic recovery.

The drop in the consumer price index for the 12 months through November followed a 0.8 percent drop in the 12 months to October, the statistics department said yesterday. Compared to October, November's CPI rose 0.4 percent. Prices will likely rise in December and jump about 3 percent next year as the government boosts its calculation of public housing values, Alvin Liew, an economist with Standard Chartered in Singapore, said in a report.

"Domestic price pressures will otherwise remain manageable as there remains significant slack in the economy even when external demand improves next year," Liew said.

Prices fell for most of this year amid recession. The government expects the economy to contract up to 2.5 percent this year and grow as much as 5 percent next year. Housing costs, including gas and electricity, dropped 4.6 percent in the year, transport and communication rose 2.4 percent and food jumped 0.7 percent.


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