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Singapore’s consumer prices continued to climb in January, with inflation expected to keep rising in the near term before easing, according to figures out yesterday.

Singapore’s CPI inflation remained steady at a near 9-year high of +4%yoy for the second straight month in Jan-22, though slightly below the market expectations (+4.1%yoy).

The stronger inflationary pressure was mainly attributed to the recent hike in the electricity and gas tariffs. Besides that, the faster inflation in the prices of food, housing, and education contributed to the sustained consumer prices during the month.

The core inflation rate which strips out the prices of accommodation and private transport, accelerated to +2.4%yoy (Dec-21: +2.1%yoy), registering the fastest level since Sep-21 in light of the soaring electricity charges as well as food costs, among others.

Singapore under pressure

“On a month-on-month basis, the consumer prices were flat in Jan-22 after gaining +0.5%mom in the preceding month. Moving forward, we foresee the pandemic-led supply bottlenecks, as well as the labour shortages, to continue pressurizing Singapore’s general consumer prices in the coming months.

“In addition, the recent geopolitical tensions between Russia-Ukraine could further result in the uptrend of global crude oil prices and deepen inflation concerns,” says MIDF.

Taiwan’s industrial output growth

Industrial output in Taiwan jumped 10 percent year-on-year in January of 2022, advancing from a downwardly revised 8.7 percent rise in the previous month.

Taiwan’s factory activities improved in Jan-22 as the growth in the industrial production index climbed to +10%yoy (Dec-21: +8.7%yoy).

The output in manufacturing sectors expanded steadily while production in the utility sector grew marginally during the month. Compared to the prior month, the seasonally adjusted IPI edged up to +3.4%mom (Dec-21: +0.2%mom), recording the highest reading since Feb-21.

In another release, Taiwan’s retail sales accelerated to +6.7%yoy in Jan-22 (Dec-21: +3.7%yoy ), bolstered by the improved consumer sentiment following the relaxation of the restrictions.

“Given the authority’s decision to further ease the Covid-19 curbs next month, we opine this will benefit the outlook of Taiwan’s consumption and business activities.

“Moreover, the factory productions will continue its growth momentum underpinned by the growing foreign demand and the recovery in domestic demand amid facing constraints from the global supply chain bottlenecks,” MIDF says.

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