Tuesday, July 5, 2022

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SL inflation jumps to 39 % in May as fuel and food shortages persist

Sri Lanka’s headline inflation surged to a record in May amid continuing food and fuel shortages as the country struggles to lift itself out of its worst economic crisis.

Change in the Colombo Consumer Price Index hit an eighth consecutive record high in May 2022 as fuel shortage worsened and food prices rose sharply, official data showed on Monday.

Consumer prices in the capital Colombo rose 39.1% from a year ago, the Department of Census and Statistics said in a statement Tuesday. That’s faster than the median 35% climb forecast by economists..

The headline inflation, as measured by the year-on-year (Y-o-Y) change in the Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI, 2013=100), soared to 39.1% in May from 29.8% in April this year, the Statistics Department of the Central Bank announced .

This increase in Y-o-Y inflation was driven by the monthly increases of both Food and Non-Food categories.

Subsequently, Food inflation (Y-o-Y) increased to 57.4% in May 2022 from 46.6% in April 2022, while Non-Food inflation (Y-o-Y) increased to 30.6% in May 2022 from 22.0% in April 2022.

The monthly change of CCPI was recorded at 8.34% in May 2022 due to price increases observed in items of both Non-Food and Food categories which were 4.87% and 3.47%, respectively.

Accordingly, prices of items in the Non-Food category recorded increases mainly due to price increases observed in the transport (petrol, diesel and bus fare), housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuel (lp gas and materials for maintenance/reconstruction), restaurant and hotels and miscellaneous goods and services (car insurance) sub-categories.

Further, within the Food category, increases were observed in the prices of vegetables, fresh fish, rice, bread, dried fish and dhal during the month.

Meanwhile, annual average inflation rose to 14.2% in May 2022 from 11.3% in April 2022.

The core inflation (Y-o-Y), which reflects the underlying inflation in the economy increased to 28.4% in May 2022 from 22.0% in April 2022, while annual average core inflation increased to 10.2% in May 2022 from 8.1% in April 2022.

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