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Bertha HarianBertha Harian


Money minefield

Am I supposed to be worried about the economy dipping below 1 per cent growth or happy that core inflation is easing to 2 per cent? That’s the conflicting emotion you get when you read more than one newspaper. BT went for the worried angle and ST the happy one.

Actually on Tuesday, we’ve already read about inflation – that it would be on the high side. No specifics then. Now we get specifics – from 3.5 to 4.5 per cent and now 4 to 4.5 per cent. I remember how my mother complained on Tuesday that the G was telling people what they already knew – that everything is getting more expensive. Then, no mention was made of core inflation, which covers everyday stuff minus cars and housing. In fact, what was reported was the impact of inflation on different income groups. Yup. You guessed it. The poor gets hit harder.

So what is this second bite at the cherry? This time, core inflation is said to be critical. The wordings are that the core inflation forecast hasn’t been revised – its between 2.5 per cent to 3 per cent. But it will ease over the next few months to maybe 2 per cent, because oil price is lower and therefore electricity and petrol get cheaper. Yup. Excellent. But hey, when are town councils going to raise S&C charges as the ST reported today that they will do? Won’t this bring core inflation – or is it headline inflation – back up? I mean, according to MAS, June’s inflation numbers was due to no S&C rebates. Or is S&C charges part of housing cost – which is not part of core inflation….Sigh. Dunno. Confused. Give up.
Anyway, the below 1 per cent figure for growth seems to be a worst case scenario, based on factors like whether there will be a recession in the US, the eurozone implodes and a hard landing in China. MAS seems to have ruled out the last. So I guess we can still expect growth of between 1 and 3 per cent…

You know, I still can’t decide if I am going to be better or worse-off

Written By

An ex-journalist who can't get enough of the news after being in the business for 26 years

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