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Singapore adults expect finances to worsen or be unchanged amid inflation: Survey

·Senior Reporter
·3 min read
A composite photo showing Singapore dollars on the left and a supermarket scene with shoppers, produce and trolleys on the right, illustrating a story on the attitudes towards rising inflation. (PHOTO: Getty Images)
The results of the YouGov survey which polled 1,055 Singapore residents aged 18 and above showed that a majority expected their financial situation to either remain the same or worsen in the next 12 months amid a 13-year high inflation. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — More than half of Singapore adults think that the cost of living will increase substantially in the near future, with most also expecting to cut down on non-essential expenses.

The results of the YouGov survey which polled 1,055 Singapore residents aged 18 and above showed that a majority expected their financial situation to either remain the same or worsen in the next 12 months amid a 13-year high inflation. The research data and analytics technology group released the data, gathered over two weeks from late last month, on Friday (24 June).

Figures for May released by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Thursday showed that core inflation picked up to 3.6 per cent year-on-year in May, the highest since December 2008, when core inflation was 4.2 per cent.

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The Consumer Price Index, which is used to measure inflation, showed that inflation rose across all items to 5.6 per cent year-on-year in May, from 5.4 per cent in April.

Among the goods and services measured, inflation for food rose to 4.5 per cent in May from 4.1 per cent in April, while inflation for electricity and gas spiked to 19.9 per cent in May, from 19.7 per cent in April, as the average prices of electricity plans offered by retailers rose at a faster pace.

The MAS and the Ministry of Trade and Industry expect prices of commodities to remain high amid supply-demand mismatches and disruptions to global transportation and regional supply chains, driven by the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the pandemic.

The Singapore government on Tuesday announced a S$1.5 billion support package to help businesses and residents cope with the rising cost.

However, residents are still expecting to feel the pinch, with older adults anticipating a greater impact on their finances.

Of those surveyed, 51 per cent expect their cost of living to increase by “a lot”, while 32 per cent anticipate costs to increase by “a little”.

Those aged 45 to 54 expect to feel the change most acutely, with 60 per cent expecting a greater impact on their wallets. Comparatively, 57 per cent of those older than 54 feel the same way.

A YouGov diagram breaking down the expected cost of living by age.
Majority of respondents anticipate a rise in their cost of living in the immediate future. (PHOTO: YouGov)

Asked on what measures they would take to blunt the impact on their wallets, 68 per cent said they would cut back on non-essential spending such as dining out. Some 53 per cent said they would change food shopping habits, 39 per cent would travel less and 36 per cent are considering cutting back on their usage of domestic energy.

Other measures that respondents would tap on to a lesser extent include using existing savings, saving less, changing jobs and doing overtime at work.

A YouGov diagram with respondents ranking their counter-measures against inflation.
Respondents plan to cut down non-essential expenses as their top safeguard against inflation. (PHOTO: YouGov)

Despite these coping measures, less than a quarter of those surveyed expect their finances to improve in the coming 12 months, with the majority comprising younger adults aged between 18 and 34 years old.

The remaining respondents are equally divided on whether their financial situation will remain the same or will worsen.

A majority of those pessimistic about their financial situation in the immediate 12 months comprise of older adults aged 35 and above.

A YouGov diagram reflecting respondent sentiments towards their future financial situation.
Younger respondents have a better sentiment towards their future financial situations. (PHOTO: YouGov)

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