SINGAPORE: Inflation is a word that has been frequently mentioned over the past few years, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have affected the global economy since 2020 and 2022 respectively.

How exactly the prices of different items have changed over the past 20 years, and which ones have seen the greatest leaps?

That was the focus of a recent piece on the finance site dollarsandsense.

It showed that the prices of education (75.7 percent), transportation (67.2 percent), and food (58.9 percent) have gone up the most since 2022.

At the other end of the list, the price of clothes and shoes has gone up by only 1.1 percent in the last 20 years, dollarsandsense says.

The rest of the list is as follows:

  • Healthcare costs are up 53.6 percent
  • Utilities and other fuel costs are up 51.3 percent
  • Accommodation costs up 39.7 per cent
  • Household durables and services items are up 25.3 percent
  • Recreation and culture items are up 17.8 percent
  • “In general, your bowl of $2.50 fishball noodles in 2002 would cost $3.97 today,” the article notes.
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Data from the Department of Statistics Singapore (Singstat) shows that the prices of all food items have gone up, with meat, milk, cheese, and eggs costing almost twice as much as they did 20 years ago. In comparison, the prices of confectionary (sugar, ice cream) and non-alcoholic beverages (coffee, tea) rose by around 48 to 50 percent.

As for transportation costs, they have gone up in tandem with the prices of cars and motorcycles and fuel. However, public transport prices have gone up more slowly, at 39.9 percent compared to 20 years ago.

And for education, the article pointed out that tuition fees have gone up by 76.4 percent in the past two decades, including tuition fees for primary and secondary education, and enrichment and supplementary courses.

Meanwhile, the costs of textbooks and study guides also saw a considerable, but not as high, increase of 43 percent.


Singapore core inflation dropped to 3.8% in July, lowest in more than a year