Sri Lanka inflation slows to 2.9-pct in April

April 30, 2009 (LBO) – Consumer inflation in Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo, in the 12-months to April slowed to 2.9 percent from 5.3 percent in March, with prices declining for the seventh straight month, the statistics office said. The Colombo Consumer Prices Index (CCPI) has been declining on an absolute basis from October after peaking at 207.2 in September. In the 30 days of April the index inched down 0.5 percent to 201.0 points.

The reported inflation for April is the lowest since March 2004 when the 12-month inflation in Colombo was 2.5 percent in the following two years of tight fiscal policy and complementary monetary policy.

Seasonally adjusted inflation, which is a lagging indicator, averaged over 24 months, fell to 16.7 percent from 18.6 percent.

Sri Lanka’s inflation has fallen on tight monetary policy from late 2007 which allowed the country to benefit from an external deflationary environment.

Central Bank governor Nivard Cabraal has said he expected Sri Lanka’s inflation to edge below zero by mid-year before moving up to positive territory.

Sri Lanka’s private sector credit growth turned negative from December following central bank defence of a dollar peg which started in September 2008 and