Friday, 14 January 2011

Sure To Rise

"Sure To Rise" is the slogan of a popular brand of New Zealand baking powder.

The same term could very well apply the era of  ever increasing food prices which have become a grudgingly accepted fact of life.

The first three months of this year will see a soaring cost of living in Singapore thanks largely to food price rises.

This, in combination with a 3.8% inflation rate, is impacting strongly on the lives of Singaporeans but they are not alone in facing such challenges.

In New Zealand though the figures are as bad and we have been bemused by the increases in basic food stuffs from 2006, when we left for Singapore, until this year when we returned.

There has been an 11.3% decrease in purchasing power over this period which means that a shopping basket of items and services costing $NZ200 in 2006 by the third quarter of last year would have cost an extra $25.58.

In the last quarter of 2010 New Zealand food prices alone rose 2.4% and as the graph shows almost every quarter since 2007 has shown an increase, with only two exceptions.

The recent spate of natural and economic disasters aren't helping matters and the figures reflect a classic case of over demand (largely from emerging economies) and under supply.

The other challenge the Singapore government has is to dampen down the rampant speculation in property which continues to drive up prices - prices rises are great if you own a property but not so great if you are trying to buy into one.

A sharp hike in sellers' stamp duty for any resale within four years of purchase has been legislated which will significantly increase transaction costs and lower the profits of Singaporean investors.
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1 comment:

Roger Smith said...

New Zealand's inflation rate for the past year was 4%