Singapore’s core inflation turns negative in February hinh anh 1A photo from March 20, 2020, shows an almost-deserted Changi Airport Terminal 4 due to a large number of cancelled flights. (Photo:

Singapore (VNA) –
Singapore’s core inflation fell sharply to -0.1 percent in February, from 0.3 percent in January, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said on March 23.

The two authorities attributed the fall largely to a 0.4 percent decline in the cost of services, which was driven by a fall in airfares and holiday expenses.

The country's consumer price index for all items (CPI-All Items) in February grew only 0.3 percent year on year, compared to 0.8 percent in the previous month. The authorities said that this was mainly due to the fall in core inflation as well as lower private transport inflation.

The COVID-19 outbreak has had heavy impacts on Singapore's aviation and tourism industries, which could in turn lower the prices of travel-related items in the CPI basket. In addition, the implementation of disease prevention measures and the fall in tourist arrivals have dampened consumer demand.

Meanwhile, the city-state's labour market conditions will continue to soften and dampen wage growth this year.

MTI and MAS said they would closely monitor price trends and assess the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on inflation./.