Singapore’s core and headline inflation have taken a hit this year, with both metrics deepening into the red after the circuit breaker measures were imposed on April 7.

Core inflation registers price increments to sectors other than accommodation and private transport, while headline inflation reflects the total inflation in the economy.

The first half of the year saw a 0.2% year-on-year dip in the consumer price index (CPI) for all items for general households. This is a reversal from the 0.5% increase registered in 2H2019, the Department of Statistics (Singstat) announced on July 23.

Excluding imputed rentals on owner-occupied accommodation (OOA), the CPI for general households was down 0.3%.

Breaking this down further, Singstat says the index dipped 0.1% for households in the lowest 20% income group.

Meanwhile, the metric fell 0.2% for households in the middle 60% income group, and 0.3% for those in the highest 20% income group. 

The price gauge registered a higher fall for the “highest 20% income group” due to a steeper decline in the costs of discretionary spending items such as holiday expense and car prices which typically account for a larger share of its total expenditure.

Similarly, the fall in airfares and petrol prices also affected this group more, given its higher proportion in their total expenditure.

Across the three income groups, the common thread saw declines in the costs of holidays and airfares, outpatient services, electricity, petrol and clothing and footwear.

The extent of the decline was mitigated by higher food prices and bus and train fares, Singstat observes.

Have a premium account? Sign in to continue reading.

Unlimited access to all stories from $4.99/month*

The latest reporting and analysis from business and investments to news and views on social issues.


  • Simultaneous logins across all devices
  • Instant access to past digital issues
  • Unlimited access to The Edge Malaysia
  • *For annual subscription plan only. T&Cs apply