COLOMBO, March 31 Sri Lanka's consumer price
inflation hit a record high of 7.3 percent in March under a new
index, government data released on Friday showed, which analysts
attributed to the impact of a lingering drought, higher taxes
and a weaker rupee, besides the effect of a low base year.
The inflation, measured on the Colombo Consumer Price Index
(CCPI), rose to 7.3 percent in March from a year earlier,
accelerating from the previous month's 6.8 percent under a
revised base-year and market basket.
"This is predominantly because of the prices of food and
other materials except energy going up," said Danushka
Samarasinghe, an economist and research head at Softlogic
"The economy is seeing the full impact of the value added
tax (VAT) increase. The rupee depreciation is also having an
impact. Food prices have risen due to the drought."
Inflation measured on a 12-month moving average basis also
hit an all-time high of 5.0 percent, compared with the previous
month's 4.6 percent.
Core annual inflation, which excludes fresh food, energy,
transport, rice and coconuts, rose to 7.3 percent in March,
compared with the previous month's 7.1 percent, the index with a
new base year of 2013 showed.
The rupee has fallen 1.4 percent this year, resulting in
(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez; Editing by