Food, non-food inflation hit record highs

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Inflation  rose year on year (YoY) to 29.8 per cent last month (April), to its second largest figure since Census and Statistics Department (CSD) began plotting Sri Lanka’s inflationary numbers 68 years ago in 1954, CSD data released on Friday (29 April) showed.

Further, food inflation and non-food inflation last month hit record highs of 46.6 and 22 per cent each last month, beating their previous highs of 42.8 and 19.9 per cent each established in May 2008 and September 2008, respectively.

Meanwhile, the highest overall inflation thus far achieved was 29.9 per cent each which took place in May 1980 and January 2008, respectively. May 1980 inflationary pressure was caused due to the opening up of the economy resulting in an increase in money supply for development works, while the high January 2008 inflation took place to fund Sri Lanka’s war.

Current inflationary pressure is caused by money printing, high international prices and the lack of US dollars in the domestic market.

In related developments, overall inflation also accelerated for the seventh consecutive month, with the immediately preceding month, March 2022, throwing up an overall inflationary figure of 18.7 per cent. Overall inflation has been in double digits for the five consecutive months to April.

In like developments, Colombo’s food inflation accelerated for the eighth consecutive month to last month, with its corresponding figure for March being a lower figure of 30.2 per cent. Food inflation has been in double digits for 11 consecutive months to last month and has been over 20 per cent for five consecutive months to last month.

Meanwhile, non-food inflation accelerated to 12 consecutive months to last month to 22 per cent, with its March figure been a lower 13.4 per cent. Non food inflation has been in double digits for three consecutive months to last month.

The base year for the measurement of the January 2008, June 2008 and September 2008 overall inflationary, food and non-food inflationary figures respectively was 1952, while the base year for  the other inflationary numbers is 2013. Last month’s countrywide inflationary data will be out either on 20 or 23 May.

By Paneetha Ameresekere