Year-on-year, prices went up less than in a month earlier for: food (1.1 percent from 1.4 percent in the previous month). Among food excluding food servicing services, cost increased for most categories : milk, cheese & eggs (1.6 percent); oils & fats (3 percent); fruits (0.8 percent); sugar, preserves & confectionery (1.2 percent); other food (1.5 percent); meat (0.1 percent); non-alcoholic beverages (0.4 percent), and bread & cereals (0.3 percent). Also, among food servicing services, prices went up for all categories: restaurant foods (1.2 percent); fast food (1.2 percent), hawker food including food courts (1.5 percent), and catered food (2.2 percent). Also, prices slowed for transport (0.7 percent from 1.4 percent), largely due to a 1.6 percent rise in private road transport while prices decreased for both other travel & transport (-3 percent) and public road transport (-1.2 percent).
On the other hand, cost fell for housing & utilities (-3.6 percent from -2.3 percent, mainly due to a 5.3 percent decline in accomodation).
Prices rose faster for household durables & services (1.2 percent from 1.1 percent, largely due to a 2.3 percent increase in household services & supplies); health (2.3 percent from 1.9 percent), mainly due to a 2.6 percent rise in medical & dental treatment and medical products and a 1.1 percent gain in appliances & equipment; recreation & culture (0.8 percent from 0.4 percent), due to a 1.9 percent rise in recreation and entertainment. Also, prices of miscellaneous goods & services went up faster (0.5 percent from 0.1 percent), due to a 0.3 percent rise in personal care, a 0.1 percent increase in alcoholic drinks & tobacco; education (2.8 from 2.6 percent), due to a 2.8 percent rise in tuition & other fees and a 0.3 percent gain in school textbooks & related study guides. In addition, prices rebounded for clothing & footwear (1 percent from -0.2 percent).
Inflation was flat for communication (from 0.5 percent in December 2017).
Core consumer prices which exclude costs of accommodation and private road transport, rose 1.4 percent, compared to an upwardly revised 1.5 percent gain in December and in line with market expectations.
On a month-on-month basis, consumer prices went down 0.2 percent, after decreasing by 0.1 percent in a month earlier.