Inflation has increased to 6.5% in January 2017 from 4.2% in December 2016 due to rising food prices, Director General of Census and Statistics, Amara Satharasinghe said. "The reason for the increase in inflation was due to the comparatively lower price levels which prevailed in January 2016. In January 2016 the contribution to inflation from the food group was -1.9% and non-food group was 1.2%.
Nevertheless, in January 2017, the contribution to inflation from the food group and non-food group were 2.9% and 3.6% respectively," a communiqué issued by the Department of Census and Statistics said.
Meanwhile the National Consumer Price Index (NCPI) for January 2017 showed inflation peaking at 119.3.
"This shows an increase of 1.3 index points or a percentage of 1.1 compared to the previous month's (December) index of 118.0. This monthly change was due to a 0.78 increase in food commodity costs and non-food items by 0.35% respectively," the communiqué added.
The increase in value of food commodities in January 2017 was due to price increases in rice, coconuts, banana, coconut oil, green chilies, sugar, fish, papaw, dried fish, potatoes and garlic. However, price decreases were reported for vegetables, limes, chicken, eggs, big onions, red onions, mangoes and dried chilies.