Food Inflation Eases in Singapore Due to Its Strong Currency

Aug 07, 2012 05:18 AM EDT | By Sharon Robinson

supermarket
Food price in Singapore seems unaffected by the global rise in food prices. (Photo : flickr.com/ benjamin.krause)

While global food prices are steadily on the rise, Singapore's food inflation seems to have gone down, say reports.

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In the first half of the year 2012, the Consumer Price Index, or the CPI, has shown signs of easing. This is in accordance with studies done by the Retail Price Watch Group, or the RPWG. The prices of many food items are either on the decline, or are fairly stable.

Looking at the average retail prices of selected food items in Singapore, it was observed that the prices of a nine out of 17 food items have declined, while four remained the same and another four increased by less than 1 per cent.

However, instant coffee, carrots, sugar and instant noodles have registered slightly higher prices.

The rather mild inflation is being attributed to the strong Singaporean dollar, the long-term contractual agreements that food importers have with their suppliers or the diversification of food import sources, RPWG said.

The Singapore government offers its people different ways to counter food inflation. The RPWG is advising the citizens to take advantage of these measures.

RPWG added that it would be wise to consider purchasing house-brand items; as such items are comparable in quality to more prominent brands but are often cheaper.  Three of RPWG's member supermarkets- NTUC FairPrice, Giant and Sheng Siong- have attested to the fact that house-brands are indeed more economical.

The government also offers cash grants and vouchers, like the GST and the U-Save rebates, to help households deal with the inflation.

The group, led by Mr Lee Yi Shyan, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry and National Development, was set up in late February 2011 to keep a close watch on any excessive price increases of daily necessities and anti-competitive behaviour from businesses in Singapore.

The RPWG is currently working with businesses to assure consumers that the food inflation will not lead to a decline in the quality of food, or the availability of more options.

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