Inflation at 154 month high of 9.9%
By Paneetha Ameresekere
Inflation accelerated to a 154-month high of 9.9 per cent last month, driven by food inflation which hit a 157-month high of 17.5 per cent and non-food inflation, a 30-month high of 6.4 per cent, year on year (YoY), respectively, Census and Statistics Department (CSD) data released yesterday (30 November) showed.
The last time Colombo inflation hit a figure higher than 9.9 per cent was in January 2009 at 10.9 per cent, the last time food inflation recorded a figure higher than 17.5 per cent was in October 2008 at 22 per cent and the last time non-food inflation registered a figure higher than 6.4 per cent was in May 2019 at 6.8 per cent, respectively.
When examining the higher October 2008, January 2009 and May 2019 inflationary numbers, October 2008 and January 2009 coincided with the eve of the end of Sri Lanka’s 26-year-old LTTE war which was at its height during that period before it was successfully prosecuted to a finish on 18 May 2009. Further, October 2008 and January 2009 were also the periods when the global financial crisis followed by the Great Recession.
Meanwhile, May 2019 was the aftermath of Easter Sunday attacks which took place on 21 April 2019 when religious extremists launched a successful attack on some churches in Colombo and elsewhere in the country and also on some five star hotels in Colombo.
Meanwhile, among the main drivers of food inflation last month were rice, vegetables, coconut, chicken, egg, green chillies, big onion and sugar and the main drivers of non-food inflation were high LP gas prices. Islandwide inflation as at last month according to the CSD calendar should be released on 21 December.