Mr Shawn Huang Wei Zhong: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry whether the Ministry is able to provide a comparative table of inflation for essential items in Singapore and other developed countries for the past three years.
Written Answer by Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong
1. The list of items that are considered to be essential is likely to vary across households in Singapore and different countries depending on their specific needs. I will highlight the price trends for food and healthcare to illustrate the difference in inflation rates across countries.
2. Between the first half of 2019 and the first half of 2022, food prices rose at a faster rate in the US, Eurozone and South Korea - by 4.9%, 3.3% and 4.9% per annum respectively, compared to 2.3% per annum in Singapore. As for healthcare, prices increased by 3.1% per annum in the US, and 0.7% per annum in both the Eurozone and South Korea over this three-year period, which is faster than the 0.2% per annum increase in Singapore.
3. The Government understands Singaporeans’ concerns over rising inflation and has provided targeted relief to lower-income households. We will continue to monitor prices closely.