Singapore's consumer price inflation eased further in February, but authorities said the pressures have been more persistent than expected.
The consumer price index (CPI) in February was up 4.6 percent year on year. This is a further moderation from the inflation rate of 4.8 percent in January, the Department of Statistics said on Friday.
The core inflation, which excludes accommodation and private road transport, was at 3 percent, the Monetary Authority and the Ministry of Trade and Industry said.
The CPI inflation in Singapore was at 4.8 percent in January, the first time it went below 5 percent since May last year.
The slight decline in CPI inflation was due to the seasonal fall in the prices of non-cooked food and holiday travel and a temporary drop in car ownership certificate premiums.
"However, the inflationary pressures since late last year have been more persistent than expected," the Monetary Authority and the Ministry of Trade and Industry said.
The housing prices continued to remain firm, increasing by 9.5 percent year on year in February, while transport prices were up 4. 4 percent.
The authorities said both the headline inflation and the core inflation are expected to remain elevated over the next few months at around 5 percent and 3 percent, respectively, before moderating gradually.
The authorities said the forecast for the CPI inflation is expected to remain at 2.5-3.5 percent. The projections are predicated on some moderation in domestic and external cost pressures in the second half of the year given the generally sluggish economic environment.
The Monetary Authority and the Ministry of Trade and Industry said they are monitoring the price trends closely and will review the forecasts if the underlying price pressures turn out to be more persistent.