Year-on-year, upward prices pressure came from: household durables & services (2.1 percent from 2.6 percent in the prior month, due to a 4.1 percent increase in household services & supplies), health care (2.4 percent from 2.9 percent, due to a 3.5 percent rise in medical & dental treatment and a 0.8 percent gain in medical products, appliances & equipment), transport (0.8 percent from -0.3 percent, mainly due to a 1.7 percent rise in private road transport), recreation & culture (0.9 percent from 0.8 percent, largely due to a 5.9 percent increase in newspapers, book & stationery and a 2.0 percent growth in holiday expenses) and education (3.2 percent from 3.2 percent, due to a 3.2 percent rise in tuition & other fees and a 0.3 percent increase in school textbooks & related study guides).
Cost remained unchanged for miscellaneous goods & services (from 0.8 percent in November, due to a 2.8 percent rise in personal effect and a 0.5 percent gain in alcoholic & tobacco). In contrast, cost fell for: clothing & footwear (-0.1 percent from-0.2 percent in October), housing & utilities (-3.8 percent from -3.7 percent, largely due to a 3.6 percent drop in fuel & utilities and a 3.8 percent fall in accommodation).
Prices of food rose 2.0 percent in December, the same as in a month earlier. Among food, cost of food excluding food servicing services increased by 2.4 percent, the same as in the preceding month while food servicing services rose 1.8 percent, followng a 1.7 percent rise in a month earlier. Among food excluding food servicing services, cost increased for bread & cereals (1.1 percent), meat (2.4 percent); fish & seafood (5.4 percent); milk, cheese & eggs (0.7 percent), fruits (1.9 percent), vegetables (5.6 percent) and other food (2.3 percent). Prices were flat for non-alcoholic beverages. In contrast, prices declined for oils & fats (-0.9 percent) and sugar, preserves & confectionery (-0.2 percent). Among food servicing services, prices increased for all categories: restaurant foods (1.7 percent), fast food (2.2 percent), hawker food including food courts (1.9 percent) and catered food (1.3 percent).
Core inflation, which excludes costs of accommodation and private road transport, rose 1.2 percent year-on-year, following a 1.3 percent gain in the prior month and slightly below consensus of a 1.3 percent rise.
On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices went up 0.2 percent, compared to a 0.3 percent increase in November.