High food costs increase inflation in May

Headline inflation, as measured by the year-on-year (YoY) change in the National Consumer Price Index (NCPI, 2013=100)1, increased to 6.1% in May 2021 from 5.5% in April 2021, according to data from the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) Statistics Department.

This was mainly driven by the monthly increases in prices of items in both Food and Non-Food categories. Meanwhile, Food inflation (YoY) increased to 10.3% in May 2021 from 9.7% in April 2021, and Non-Food inflation (YoY) increased to 2.5 % in May 2021 from 2.2% in April 2021.

The NCPI, measured on an annual average basis, increased marginally to 5.4% in May 2021 from 5.3% in April 2021. Monthly change of NCPI was recorded at 0.95% in May 2021 due to increases observed in prices of items in both the Food and Non-Food categories.

Accordingly, within the Food category, increases were observed mainly in the prices of coconut oil, rice, and fresh fish. Moreover, prices of items in the Non-Food category recorded an increase during the month due to price increases observed in the Health (payments to medical laboratory tests and private hospital room charges), Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels (LP Gas), and Furnishing, Household Equipment, and Routine Household Maintenance sub-categories.

Further, YoY core inflation increased marginally to 4.2% in May 2021 from 4.1% in April 2021, while annual average core inflation remained unchanged at 4.4% in May 2021.