Can your Increment beat Inflation?

9 previously reported that “Singapore’s annual inflation rate hit a 25-year high of 6.6 percent in January (2008)…” and that was according to official data from Department of Statistics (DOS).

I checked the recently released DOS figures for February 2008. The inflation rate was 6.5%. Contributing the most to the still very high figure are housing (8.8%), transport & communication (7.6%) and food (6.7%).

The price of rice is also set to rise. And rise fast, perhaps. Maybe that’s why the government has repeatedly assured us that there is enough stock for all. “3 months at least,” I heard a Minister of State say on TV.

The message is: we should not hoard rice, to avoid artificially inflating the price.

But the repeated assurances seem to make some people buy more rice!

ST reported that “Checks at supermarkets yesterday (i.e. April 3) showed that many people were not yet heeding the advice to stay calm and were buying more than usual.” Also, check out these comments at

I then looked at the earnings growth reported in the Labour Market Report from MOM. Nominal earnings grew by 6.2% in 2007. After adjusting for inflation, the real earnings growth was 4.0%.

I’m not exactly sure how the adjustment works. But I hope it means that even with the highest inflation in years, we’re generally still making enough to get by…

Was your salary increment sufficient to overcome inflation?


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  1. wait and wait on

    Good work admin!

    So since property and stocks rose at good double digit figures and inflation and salary increment

  2. wait and wait on

    Dear admin,

    Somehow the figures from MOM doesn’t seems to be in line with real world situations. I don’t doubt the accuracy though, but it may be just too vague.

    I remember in the early 1990s that a MOE school teacher with a degree from NTU/NUS earns a starting pay of about $2500 to $3000. Today after > 15 years later, it is STILL about same salary.

    I think $3000 a month cannot survive.

  3. If you’re talking about survival, one can survive on a lot less. Did you read about a family who earns less than 1k recently? And they can still save 100 per month! Just today in the news was a family that live on a few hundreds monthly too.

    I don’t think the family will be able to save anymore though, thanks to the current increase in prices…

    It’s not only teachers too, it’s the same for IT people just starting. 3k is about the norm, sometimes even less. Surely can survive but can’t buy so many things anymore lah.

  4. wait and wait on

    Yes, I think many people can survive with a $3k/mth pay. In fact those without much education or talent, $3k/mth is alot of money.

    What I mean in my post is a person who spend 1/3 of his/her life studying non stop until graduated from NTU/NUS and earn only $3k a month is pathetic.

  5. wait and wait on

    By the way, assuming this person earns $2.5k to $3k a month and wife is a housewife, they are considered “low income earner” and is eligible for additional CPF housing grant of $15k when buying resale HDB.

    Which means the government categorize a person earning $2.5k to $3k a month as “Needy and need government assistance”.

    15 years ago earn $3k ok, today is considered “poor and needy”.

  6. [Nominal earnings grew by 6.2% in 2007. After adjusting for inflation, the real earnings growth was 4.0%.]

    my understanding is; adjusted = inflation x real


    real = nominal x inflation

    please correct me if i were wrong.

  7. Vincent (I am newbie) on

    no matter what formula i used, still cannot get the above real earning growth of 4% leh, please advise what formula to use? i tried (1+nominal)=(1+real)x(1+inflation)

  8. Vincent (I am newbie) on

    with inflation at 6.6% and nominal earnings at 6.2%, how can real growth still at so high of 4%? these days we really need to counter check the official data… *angry*

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