Headline inflation in Singapore breached 6.7 per cent in June, and looks set to continue rising at least till the year end. According to Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong, inflation may well settle at a higher rate, especially since geopolitical uncertainty, persistent supply chain difficulties and rising costs of the green transition do not look to be dissipating any time in the near future.
But we experience inflation in different ways. Two headlines this month highlight this. A DBS study examined 1.2 million customer bank balances. It found that two-fifths of the customers experienced income gains that failed to keep up with inflation. Put another way, their real incomes have diminished since the start of the year. For the lowest income group earning less than $2,500 a month, expenses have grown almost six times faster than their salaries.