SGD expected to strengthen

Singapore’s core inflation is expected to rise past 2 percent into the end of the year, and over the first half of next year, which is why the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is seen to tighten policy at their upcoming monetary policy meeting in October, according to the latest report from ANZ Research.

Today’s Singapore CPI data for August did not contain much surprise. CPI-All Items inflation rose to 0.7 percent y/y from 0.6 percent y/y the previous month, which was in line with market expectations. The MAS Core Inflation was unchanged at 1.9 percent y/y, below market expectations.

The improvement in the labour market should see a further pick-up in wages, which will feed through into inflation. High oil prices will also result in higher utilities and public transport costs as a direct effect, with some indirect flow-through as well, mainly into next year.

“We estimate that the 1.7 percent m/m decline in the communication index shaved around 0.1ppts from headline inflation. The drop in food prices is likely temporary, and should recover given the rise in global food prices,” the report commented.