SINGAPORE (AFP) - Singapore's inflation rate climbed to its highest level in 28 years in 2008, with the poor being the hardest hit, the statistics department said Monday. The 6.5 percent rise in the consumer price index last year was more than triple the 2.1pc increase in 2007, it said in a report. It was the highest since inflation hit 8.2 percent in 1981, according to data from the statistics department's website. Singapore's lowest 20pc income group experienced a higher inflation rate of 7.4pc last year compared with higher wage earners because of dearer food, housing and electricity costs, the department said. Economists said inflation is likely to ease this year as Singapore faces what could be its worst recession since independence because of the global economic downturn.