SINGAPORE, May 23 (Xinhua) -- Singapore's consumer price index rose by 5.4 percent in April, accelerating from the inflation rate of 5.2 percent of the previous month, the Department of Statistics said on Wednesday.
The higher increase was mainly attributable to higher accommodation costs, as private road transport costs climbed. The housing costs rose by 11.1 percent year on year, while the cost of transport rose by 7.5 percent.
Food prices also rose by 2.4 percent, while the prices of clothing and footwear rose by 1.3 percent.
The Core Inflation measured by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) eased to 2.7 percent in April from 2.9 percent in March, led by lower services and food inflation.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore said the headline inflation could average around 5 percent year on year in the first half of the year before easing gradually in the second half.
It said the accommodation cost will remain the largest contributor to the headline inflation this year "as leasing contracts continue to be renewed at rentals that are considerably higher than those under existing contracts," especially in the HDB segment -- the public housing estates built and sold by the Housing and Development Board to house most of the local residents.
The car prices could also increase if the premiums for the Certificate of Entitlement, the certificate that had to be acquired through bidding exercises in order to own a car in Singapore, rise further in response to the tight supply, the central bank said.
The Core Inflation is expected to remain close to 3 percent in the next few months before easing gradually thereafter, it said.
For the year as a whole, the CPI inflation is expected to be 3. 5-4.5 percent, while the MAS Core Inflation is expected to be in the range of 2.5-3 percent.
Authorities raised the forecasts for inflation in Singapore by 1 percentage point last month. The Monetary Authority of Singapore also said last month it will be tightening the monetary policy slightly by increasing the slope of its policy band slightly for a modest and gradual appreciation of the Singapore dollar.
The central bank adjusts its monetary policy to manage inflation by changing the slope, width and center of the band for the rate of the Singapore dollar against a basket of foreign currencies.