Year-on-year, prices rose at a softer pace for housing (4.2 percent vs 4.3 percent in April), namely private housing rent (3.8 percent vs 3.9 percent); miscellaneous services (2.1 percent vs 3.1 percent), led by educational services (2.3 percent vs 2.4 percent) and informational and communication services (-9.9 percent vs -9 percent); and transport (1.5 percent vs 2.7 percent). In addition, cost continued to fall for durable goods (-2 percent vs -2.1 percent); clothing & footwear (-1.2 percent vs -1.1 percent) and electricity, gas and water (-4.9 percent vs -4.3 percent).
Meanwhile, inflation quickened for food (3.6 percent vs 3.0 percent), of which food, excluding meals bought away from home (6.5 percent vs 4.6 percent), amid the supply disruption to fresh pork; miscellaneous goods (2.1 percent vs 1.9 percent) and alcoholic drinks & tobacco (3.2 percent vs 2.3 percent).
Underlying consumer inflation, which excludes the effects of one-off government relief measures such as tax cuts for lower income individuals; extra allowance for the elderly, child & disabled people; students' grants increased to 3.1 percent in May from 3.0 percent in the prior month.
"Looking ahead, inflation will likely remain moderate in the near term, in tandem with the easing in fresh-letting residential rentals earlier on and in external price pressures. The Government will continue to monitor the inflation situation closely, particularly the impact on the lower-income people.", a government spokesman said.