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Singapore February Inflation Up 4.9% From Year Earlier

Singapore
Kevin Miller | Photodisc | Getty Images
Singapore

Singapore's consumer price index rose by a stronger-than-expected 4.9 percent in February from a year earlier, mainly because of a spike in private road transport costs, the government said on Monday.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore's (MAS) core inflation measure rose 1.9 percent year-on-year, faster than January's 1.2 percent.

(Read More: Singapore 2013 Growth Tipped at 2.8%)

Economists polled by Reuters expected February's inflation to edge up to 4.1 percent from January's 3.6 percent pace.

The rise in February inflation was partly due to a relatively low base as Chinese New Year took place in February this year and in January last year. Average inflation for January and February was 4.2 percent year-on-year.

(Read More: Singapore February Exports Fall Sharply on Rigs, Pharmaceuticals)

February's inflation data comes around three weeks before MAS issues its half yearly monetary policy statement.

The outlook for 2013 inflation was unchanged at 3.5 to 4.5 percent but will be reviewed during the April policy statement, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and the MAS said.

(Read More: Singapore Budget: Is the Government Finally Listen?)

The MTI and MAS also reiterated core inflation is likely to average 2 to 3 percent for the whole year.