Inflation Hits 47-Month High of 8.3%
BY PANEETHA AMERESEKERE
Islandwide inflation hit a 47-month high, accelerating to 8.3 per cent last month (October), yearon-year (YoY), data released by the Census and Statistics Department (CSD) yesterday (22) showed. A figure higher than this was last recorded in November 2017, where islandwide inflation threw a figure of 8.4 per cent.
Meanwhile, the drivers in the acceleration of overall inflation last month were food inflation hitting a 13-month high of 11.7 per cent YoY and non-food inflation a 26-month high of 5.4 per cent, respectively. Overall inflation is the sum total of food and nonfood inflation, as per the respective weights attached to the same by the CSD for the purpose of calculating of total inflation.
In related developments, food inflation has been in double digits for four consecutive months to last month, last seen a year ago, which was for 10 consecutive months to October last year. Drivers of food inflation, which expenses on an overall basis increased by Rs 2,406.66 last month, YoY, in respect of an average family in Sri Lanka were rice increasing by Rs 475.58 YoY, coconut oil by Rs 227.49, vegetables by Rs 230.26, Mysore Dhal by Rs 176.98, fresh fish by Rs 163.73, milk powder by Rs 123.51 and dry fish by Rs 112.05. Of non-food inflation, the largest increase was costs associated with transport, upped by Rs 328.77 YoY last month, of which the largest sub component was bus fares increasing by Rs 138.02, YoY last month.
Next was ‘housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels,’ up Rs 228.60, of which the largest sub component was the cost of LP gas increasing by Rs 102.13, YoY in October. And the third highest vis-à-vis the rise in nonfood inflation last month was health, up, Rs 213.66, YoY in October of which the largest subcomponent was the costs paid to private medical practitioners increasing by Rs 54.78 and payments made in respect of medical/pharmaceutical purchases increasing by Rs 46.10 YoY, last month.