SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Singapore’s key price gauge climbed in December by its fastest pace in nearly eight years, exceeding economist forecasts, driven by a steep increase in air fares, official data showed on Monday.

The core inflation rate — the central bank’s favoured price measure – rose to 2.1% in December on a year-on-year basis, the highest since July 2014. A Reuters poll of economists had forecast a 1.7% increase.

Headline inflation rose by 4%, beating economists’ forecast of 3.75%.

(Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan in Singapore; Editing by Ed Davies)