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FINANCIAL CHRONICLE™ » DAILY CHRONICLE™ » Sri Lanka inflation slows to 9.1-pct in Sept: Census dept

Sri Lanka inflation slows to 9.1-pct in Sept: Census dept

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Malika1990

Malika1990
Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics
Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics
Sept 28, 2012 (LBO) - Consumer prices in Sri Lanka's capital rose 9.1 percent in the 12-months to September 2012 slowing from 9.5 percent in August, while the index fell in absolute terms in the month, the state statistics office said.

The Colombo Consumer Price Index fell absolutely for the second month running to 165.5 points from 165.7 points a month earlier. In August the index fell 1.0 point.
The food and beverages sub index (with alcohol excluded due to the current administration's Mathater Thither or anti alcohol policy) fell 0.3 points to 185 points in the month, while non foods rose 0.1 percent.

The moving average of the index, a lagging indicator averaged across two years continued to rise to 6.5 percent in September from 6.3 percent in August.

Sri Lanka's inflation spiked amid a balance of payments crisis triggered by heavy money printing to accommodate state credit taken to finance energy subsidies by the state which sent the rupee plunging to 134 to the US dollar from 110 a year earlier

However after energy prices and interest rates were raised after two billion US dollars of foreign reserves were lost and credit has slowed allowing inflation to moderate.

Inflation has also slowed after previous balance of payments crisis as slowing or contracting credit is supported by a gently appreciating exchange rate to bring down prices of traded goods.

The rupee has so far appreciated to about 129.50 to the US dollar from lows of 134.00 to the US dollar in mid 2012.
Analysts say the rupee has to appreciate against the anchor US currency, as a fresh bout of money printing (quantity easing) by reserve currency central banks threatens to push global inflation higher.

Sri Lanka's rupee is pegged to the US dollar and the inflation generated by the Federal Reserve as the anchor currency central bank tends to set a floor on prices, through traded goods. The phenomenon is generally known as 'imported' inflation.

Sri Lanak's central bank has also been firm on its policy rates, signaling that future inflation is likely to be low. Long term risk free yields in particular have started to fall.
http://www.lbo.lk/fullstory.php?nid=357340302

K.Haputantri

K.Haputantri
Co-Admin
Inflation eases to 9.1 percent
The Island- September 28, 2012, 12:00 pm

The rate at which prices increase in the economy slowed down to 9.1 percent in September 2012 year-on-year from 9.5 percent the previous month, the government statistics office said yesterday (28).

"The rate of inflation as measured by the Colombo Consumers’ Price Index (CCPI) on a year-on-year basis decreased to 9.1 percent in September 2012 from 9.5 percent in August 2012 while annual average inflation increased marginally to 6.5 percent in September 2012 from 6.3 percent in August 2012," the Department of Census and Statistics said.

"On a year to year basis, the highest contribution to the overall increase of around 55 percent came from nonfood commodities which increased by 5 percent in September 2012. Among the food commodities, rice, vegetables and fish and sea food which have significant weights in the CCPI basket recorded price increases on a year to year basis. Under the Non Food Category, the prices of Kerosene Oil, Petrol, Diesel and Gas rose by 74%, 19%, 47% and 10% respectively," it said.

A late policy response to a balance of payments problem has resulted in inflation peaking at post-conflict highs in recent months as the economy undergoes some correction.

The Central Bank said earlier this month that inflation would remain at single digit levels this year while pressures on the balance of payments were easing.

Although criticizing the absurdly late policy response, economists and analysts have commended the Central Bank and Treasury for taking politically difficult tough policy action which would put the economy on a more sustainable growth trajectory.

The Central Bank last week downgraded the economic growth projection to 6.8 percent this year, from an earlier estimate of 7.2 percent. The initial estimate was 8 percent.

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