Nationwide inflation hits 21.5%

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By Paneetha Ameresekere

Nationwide inflation, for the first time after 13-and-a-half years, hit over 20 per cent, by accelerating for the sixth consecutive month to 21.5 per cent in March 2022, Census and Statistics Department (CSD) data released yesterday showed.

A figure higher than this last took place in September 2008 with a figure of 24.3 per cent, a period when Sri Lanka’s war with the LTTE had reached a crucial stage, data showed. Nationwide inflation also has been in double digits for five consecutive months to last month.

Meanwhile, food inflation, accelerating to 29.5 per cent in March 2022 hit a 13 years-and-seven month high last month, with food inflation being in double digits for eight consecutive months and at over 20 per cent for four consecutive months.

Food inflation last showed a higher figure than this in August 2008 with a figure of 32.1 per cent, where, globally, that was on the eve of the Global Financial Crisis and the Great Recession which came to a head a month later in September 2008 with the collapse of the US-based financial services company Lehman Brothers.

Meanwhile, non-food inflation soared to a 13 year-and-four month high of 14.5 per cent in March 2022, where non-food inflation last showed a higher figure than this was in November 2008 with a figure of 16.8 per cent.

Non-food inflation has been in double digits for three consecutive months to March 2022, while accelerating for the past six consecutive months in the review period.