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FINANCIAL CHRONICLE™ » DAILY CHRONICLE™ » PREVIEW-Sri Lanka inflation seen at 13-month high in June

PREVIEW-Sri Lanka inflation seen at 13-month high in June

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Redbulls

Redbulls
Director - Equity Analytics
Director - Equity Analytics
* IMF sees inflation raising to 9.5 pct in 2012 yr/yr
* Weak rupee, price hikes, drought drive inflation- analysts
* Data expected on Friday, June 29 at 0930 GMT


COLOMBO, June 28 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's annual inflation rate may have risen to a 13-month high in June as the weakening rupee raised prices of imported goods and a local drought pushed up food prices.

Annual inflation is expected to have accelerated in June to 7.6 percent, its highest since May 2011, a Reuters poll of 14 analysts showed. In May, prices rose 7.0 percent from a year earlier.

"Prices of many commodities went up, including vegetables, due to drought forcing supply-side constraints," Sanjeewa Fernando of CT Smith stockbrokers said..

Food accounts for more than 40 percent of the basket of items used to compile inflation figures.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on June 15 that annual inflation may rise to 9.5 percent this year and stressed the need for Colombo to keep monetary policy focused on price pressures 'for the time being'.

The rupee has depreciated around 18 percent since November, pushing up costs for the $59 billion economy, which imports most essential food commodities as well as fuel.

Consumer goods accounted for 20 percent of last year's total $20 billion import bill.

Earlier this month, the government raised prices of a series of essential goods, including sugar, dhal, and potatoes.

The central bank in June kept its key policy rates unchanged after raising them twice since February to two-year highs, saying the recent increases were enough to moderate the expansion of both credit and the trade deficit.

Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal told Reuters earlier that inflation will moderate to mid-single digit levels towards the end of the year as policy rate hikes take full effect.

Following is the poll's forecast for June inflation data due to be released on Friday: (Inflation figures are in percent)

PREVIEW-Sri Lanka inflation seen at 13-month high in June Captur10
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by Kim Coghill)
http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/06/28/srilanka-economy-inflation-idINL3E8HS1I920120628

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