September 30 2022 7:39 PM E-paper Subscribe Sign in My Account Sign out

Bankrupt Sri Lanka's inflation jumps beyond 50%

Activists of Sri Lanka's main opposition, take part in a demonstration to denounce the shortage of cooking gas, kerosene oil and a few other commodities as the country faces a major economic crisis in
Activists of Sri Lanka's main opposition, take part in a demonstration to denounce the shortage of cooking gas, kerosene oil and a few other commodities as the country faces a major economic crisis in Colombo on June 30, 2022. (Photo: AFP)
COLOMBO — Sri Lanka's inflation hit a ninth consecutive record in June, official data showed Friday, rising to 54.6 percent a day after the IMF asked the bankrupt nation to rein in galloping prices and corruption.اضافة اعلان

It was the first time the increase in the Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI) crossed the psychologically important 50 percent mark, according to the department of census and statistics.

The figures came hours after the International Monetary Fund urged Sri Lanka to contain spiraling inflation and address corruption as part of efforts to salvage the troubled economy, which a foreign exchange crisis has ravaged.

The IMF ended ten days of in-person discussions with Sri Lankan authorities in Colombo on Thursday following the country's request for a possible bailout.

The CCPI has been setting new monthly highs since October when year-on-year inflation stood at just 7.6 percent. In May, it reached 39.1 percent.

The rupee has lost more than half its value against the US dollar this year.

Private economists say consumer prices are rising faster than shown in official statistics.

According to an economist at Johns Hopkins University, Steve Hanke, who tracks price increases in the world's trouble spots, Sri Lanka's current inflation is 128 percent, second only to Zimbabwe's 365 percent.

Faced with an acute energy shortage, Sri Lanka is observing a shutdown of non-essential state institutions for two weeks, along with the closure of schools to reduce commuting.

The country's 22 million people have been enduring acute shortages of essentials — including food, fuel, and medicines — for months.

Protests are continuing outside President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's office, demanding his resignation over the unprecedented economic turmoil and his mismanagement.


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