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Singapore's December core inflation rises 5.1%

Shoppers wearing protective face masks cross a street in Singapore's Orchard Road shopping district during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore's key consumer price gauge rose 5.1% in December, slightly higher than forecast, official data showed on Wednesday.

The core inflation rate - which excludes private road transport and accommodation costs - was unchanged from the 5.1% rise in November. A Reuters poll of economists had forecast a 5% increase in December.

Headline inflation eased to 6.5% year-on-year in December, from 6.7% in November.

For 2022 as a whole, core inflation averaged 4.1%, higher than the 0.9% recorded in 2021. Meanwhile, headline inflation came in at 6.1% last year, up from 2.3% in 2021.

The central bank had earlier said core inflation was likely to stay at about 5% for the early part of 2023.

It has also projected a core inflation rate of between 3.5% to 4.5% in 2023, with headline inflation coming in at between 5.5% and 6.5%.

(Reporting by Chen Lin in Singapore)