Crisis-hit Sri Lanka's inflation hits nearly 70 per cent

Sri Lankan rupee loses more than 45 per cent of its value against US dollar



People wait in a queue to buy domestic gas at a distribution centre in Colombo. –AP
People wait in a queue to buy domestic gas at a distribution centre in Colombo. –AP

By AFP

Published: Fri 30 Sep 2022, 4:31 PM

Sri Lanka's inflation rate hit nearly 70 per cent in September for a 12th consecutive monthly record, official data showed Friday after a year of shortages, price hikes and economic misery.

An unprecedented downturn forced the government to default on its $51 billion foreign debt in April and go cap-in-hand to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout.

Blackouts, chronic fuel shortages and spiralling consumer costs triggered months of political unrest, ultimately forcing the president to flee the country and resign.

Inflation was up 69.8 per cent in September, according to the benchmark Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI) - a rise from 64.3 per cent last month and 5.7 per cent a year ago.

Food inflation in September was also a 12th consecutive monthly record at 94.9 per cent, according to Sri Lanka's statistics office.

The IMF has tentatively approved a four-year, $2.9 billion bailout to help Sri Lanka reorganise its finances, subject to an agreement with creditors.

It had also asked the government to contain spiralling inflation and address corruption as part of efforts to salvage the troubled economy.

The Sri Lankan rupee has lost more than 45 per cent of its value against the US dollar, and the economy is set to contract by 8.7 per cent this year.


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