A family’s living expenses rise by 1,014%

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Countrywide inflation accelerated to a new record high figure of 70.2 per cent last month (August 2022), year on year (YoY), compared to the previous month’s figure of 66.6 per cent, Census and Statistics Department (CSD) data released yesterday (21) showed.

Likewise, food inflation and non-food inflation accelerated to hit record highs of 84.6 per cent and 57.1 per cent respectively, last month, compared to figures 82.5 per cent and 52.4 per cent, respectively, in July 2022. Food and non-food inflation cumulatively forms overall inflation.

Meanwhile, the YoY rise in a family’s monthly living expenses accelerated by a record 1,014 per cent (
Rs 30,211.77) to Rs 33,191.74 last month, CSD data also showed. However, a year ago in August 2021, the YoY increase of a family’s living expenses were a mere Rs 2,979.97; compared to a record high
Rs 33,191.74 last month.

In related developments, a family’s food expenses rose 749.88 per cent (Rs 16,857.74) to Rs 19,105.81 and non-food expenses by 1,824.57 per cent (Rs 13,354.03) to Rs 14,085.93, YoY last month. The comparative YoY increases a year ago in August 2021 were a mere Rs 2,248.07 (food) and Rs 731.90 (non food) respective.

 The composite figure/value of a family’s monthly food and non food expenditures form their total living expenses. Meanwhile, in the previous month July 2022, this YoY increase in a family’s monthly expenses was Rs 31,437.17 and in June 2022, this YoY increase was Rs 27,588.01 respectively.

Consequently, nationwide inflation also accelerated for the fifth consecutive month to 70.2 per cent last month, from 66.6 per cent in July 2022, YoY, data showed. Subsequently, both food and non-food inflation accelerated for the eleventh consecutive month to last month, with food inflation hitting a new record high of 84.6 per cent last month, from 82.5 per cent in July 2022 and non-food inflation, continuing to soar past 50 per cent for the second consecutive month to last month, by accelerating by 57.1 per cent last month, from a 52.4 per cent YoY increase in July 2022.

Among the main drivers of overall (nationwide) inflation in last month, both food and non-food were the cost of a family’s rice bill increasing by Rs 3,609.13 YoY; milk powder ( Rs 2,000.63); ); cost of housing rent, cooking gas and other fuels including kerosene (Rs 2,379.89); petrol ( Rs 1,512.85); vegetables (Rs 1,591.06); fresh fish (Rs 1,556.47); eating out, like from ‘kades’ (Rs 1,508.81); bus fare (Rs 1,181.85); bread (Rs 874.82); health costs (Rs 823.42); dry fish (Rs 779.80); chicken (777.83); diesel (Rs 619.56); clothing and footwear (Rs 730.21); toilet soap (Rs 682.89; washing soap (Rs 495.40) and tuition fees (Rs 352.78), respectively.

 Meanwhile, also aided by the rising costs of the above soaps, a household’s monthly maintenance costs, including furnishings, purchase of household equipment and routine maintenance costs rose by Rs 1,269.74; YoY to last month, CSD said.

By Paneetha Ameresekere