The specter of inflation is haunting Asia. Just ask Singapore, normally viewed as the least inflation-prone country in the region. Despite a strong currency, deflationary fiscal policies and the absence of independent trade unions to push up wages, Singapore is now seeing its highest inflation rate since the mid-1990s. The other city state, Hong Kong, is probably about to see a similar jump. With these two open but conservatively managed economies inflating fast, the outlook for almost everywhere in Asia other than Japan and Taiwan is for equally sharp increases from much higher historical levels.