Sri Lanka inflation surges over 60% in July

Sri Lanka’s inflation surged to 60.8% in July, up from 54.6% in June, the crisis-hit country’s statistics department said on Saturday, as food and fuel remained scarce amid depleted foreign exchange reserves.

The year-on-year inflation based on the Colombo Consumer Price Index was 60.8% in July, the Department of Census and Statistics said in a statement.

In June it was 54.6%.

Also read | Sri Lanka foreign trade up despite economic crisis; exports to India grows 21%

The year-on-year food inflation in July is 90.9 up from 80.1% in June.

The country’s central bank has said inflation may peak at 75%.

Sri Lankans have faced a shortage of essentials amid the ongoing economic meltdown, the worst since 1948.

Until mid this month, there was a severe shortage of cooking gas with long lines for refills.

The situation has now eased with several shipments coming.

Also read | Sri Lankan civic activists concerned over ‘witch-hunt’ by state

However, the miles-long fuel queues can still be seen.

The country has been negotiating a bailout package with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The talks with the IMF, however, have hit a snag over the need to restructure debt.

President says talks with IMF progressing

President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s office in a statement on Friday said the negotiations with the IMF have been progressing.

The statement said that political negotiations to form an all-party government are underway to achieve political stability after the recent turmoil in the country.

Sri Lanka has seen months of mass unrest over the worst economic crisis, with the government declaring bankruptcy in mid-April by refusing to honour its international debt.

The protests in the country led Gotabaya Rajapaksa to flee the country and resign as the president.

The previous Rajapaksa administration is accused of bungling the economic crisis.

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