Sri Lanka’s inflation surged to a record 60.8 per cent in July, the crisis-struck country’s statistics department said on Friday, compared to a 54.6 per cent rise in June.
The jump in the Colombo Consumer Price Index was led by a 90.9 per cent climb in food inflation, the Census and Statistics Department said in a statement.
The island nation has been gripped by a political and economic crisis that has forced a change of leadership, and is now in a state of emergency.
IMF talks resume
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka has resumed technical discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on a potential bailout after a new government took office, the finance ministry said on Friday.
Discussions with the multilateral lender started in April under former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The Sri Lankan government hopes to secure an Extended Fund Facility (EFF) — which would be conditional on making economic reforms — to help battle the worst economic crisis since independence in 1948.
Ranil Wickremesinghe was appointed as president after Rajapaksa was ousted on July 13 by a popular uprising following months of severe shortages of fuel, food and medicines.
Wickremesinghe, who served six terms as prime minister, also hopes to restructure Sri Lanka’s debt.
The talks with IMF were highly successful and Sri Lanka is working with advisers to reach consensus on a deal with creditors, the government said.
The South Asian nation of 22 million has $12 billion overseas debt with private creditors. It defaulted on a bond payment earlier this year and is struggling to pay for imports of basic goods. — Reuters
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