Sri Lanka to scrap country-wide index after inflation jumps to 26.2-pct

Jan 25, 2008 (LBO) — Sri Lanka will scrap a country-wide price index that showed a record 26.2 percent inflation in November 2007, officials said. “By releasing several indices, or making public aware of several indices, problems have come up,” Sri Lanka’s statistics chief Suranjana Vidyaratne said.

“Though we have done this as a technical subject various group can project them for their benefit.”

The Sri Lanka Consumer Price Index (SLCPI) which is based on consumption data collected in 1995 showed an increase of 26.2 percent in November 2007, the highest since the index was started.

Confusion

The numbers came as authorities said the country’s most widely watched index, the Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI) which showed an inflation of 19.6 percent in the month was “wrong” because its base was 1952.

“SLCPI, we have now stopped,” D C A Gunawardena who heads the price index unit of statistics office said.

“We are not going to release it in the future. You must realize that when there are several indices, people compare it and it is politicized.”

Gunewardene said the statistics office is working towards