Inflation on the rise for basic services

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Education and health led the increase in the composite consumer price index (CPI) in May 2017, according to the latest data released by the Statistics and Census Services (DSEC) yesterday.
Prices for education and health services went up 7.46 per cent and 5.14 per cent year-on-year, with DSEC noting that the increases were mainly attributable to higher charges for outpatient services and rising tuition fees.
On the other hand, prices for communication, housing and fuels dropped 5.79 per cent and 1.28 per cent, respectively.
Overall, as at May 2017, inflation was 0.95 per cent higher than last year, and 0.28 per cent higher than the previous month.
On a monthly basis, the latest data released also indicated increasing prices for services targeting residents and decreasing prices for products and services catering to tourists.
Receding charges for package tours, lower airfares, reduced prices of alcoholic beverages, as well as motorcars drove down the price indices of recreation and culture, transport, and alcoholic beverages and tobacco by 0.82 per cent, 0.34 per cent, and 0.32 per cent, respectively.
For the 12 months ended May 2017, the average consumer price increased 1.37 per cent from the previous period, with important increases in the price indices of alcoholic beverages and tobacco up 9.99 per cent, education up 7.75 per cent, and transport up 6.12 per cent.
The average price index for the first five months of 2017 rose 0.92 per cent year-on-year.