Higher Numbers

Jan 31, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s inflation rose by 3.0 percent in January driving 12-month inflation to 20.8 percent on a revised index of consumer prices in Colombo, the government’s statistics office said. Another index of Colombo prices which has a higher weight of food and is based on the consumption pattern of working class households showed a sharper 5.2 percent increase in inflation to 21.6 percent.

The statistics office said food prices rose “remarkably” followed by fuel and light, clothing and miscellaneous items.

Sri Lanka’s rice prices rose to unusual levels in both December and January ahead of the harvest season as the government controls the imports of rice, though officials expect rice prices to ease with the harvest later.

Retail fuel prices were also revised in January.

The Central Bank has tightened monetary policy in the past two months after policy tightening was paused in the second quarter of 2007 reversing an earlier trend of declining prices.