Retail in Asia

In Markets

Singapore inflation accelerates as car prices surge

Singapore’s inflation accelerated sharply in March, led by a jump in the cost of cars and housing, suggesting the central bank may tighten monetary policy further when it comes up for review in October.

The city-state’s consumer price index (CPI) rose 5.2 percent in March from a year earlier, the government said on Monday, far exceeding February’s 4.6 percent pace and beating the estimates of all 11 economists polled by Reuters.

Headline inflation "could average around 5 percent year-on-year in the first half before easing gradually in the second half of 2012," the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said in a joint statement.