COLOMBO (AFP) – Inflation in crisis-hit Sri Lanka dipped marginally for the first time in 12 months but prices were still an eye-watering 66 per cent higher than a year ago, official data showed yesterday.
The island nation of 22 million people has suffered months of extreme economic hardship with severe shortages of essentials including food, fuel and medicines.
The Department of Census and Statistics data showed October inflation was nearly four percentage points lower than the record 69.8 per cent in September. Food inflation which had also reached a record high for the 12th consecutive month in September at 94.9 per cent moderated to 85.6 per cent in October.
The department did not give reasons for the slowdown in inflation, but authorities had reduced fuel prices twice in October, cutting prices by 20 per cent.
However, the price of petrol is still double the amount before the start of the crisis late last year, while diesel – used commonly for public transport – is still three and a half times more.