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70.2 percent inflation hit Sri Lanka by August

Food prices climbed 84.6 percent, while prices of non-food items rose 57.1 percent in the crisis-hit island nation

Consumer inflation in Sri Lanka accelerated to 70.2 percent in August, the statistics department has said, as the island nation reels under its worst economic crisis in decades.

The National Consumer Price Index (NCPI) rose 70.2 percent last month from a year earlier, after a 66.7 percent increase in July, the Department of Census and Statistics said in a statement on Wednesday.

A Sri Lankan laborer pushes his cart past shops selling vegetables at a wholesale market
A Sri Lankan worker pushes his cart past shops selling vegetables at a wholesale market in Colombo [File: Eranga Jayawardena/AP]

Food prices climbed 84.6 percent, while prices of non-food items rose 57.1 percent in the tourism-dependent South Asian country of 22 million people.

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) in August said the inflation rate would moderate after peaking at about 70 percent as the country’s economy slowed.

The NCPI captures broader retail price inflation and is released with a lag of 21 days every month.

The more closely monitored Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI), released at the end of each month, rose 64.3 percent in August. It acts as a leading indicator for national prices and shows how inflation is evolving in Sri Lanka’s biggest city.

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