(Repeats ahead of data)
* What: July consumer price index
* When: Thursday, July 31, about 3:00 pm (0930 GMT)
* 12-mth average seen at 21.5 pct vs June's 21.0 pct
By Shihar Aneez
COLOMBO, July 30 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's inflation <LK/INFL1>, as measured on a 12-month moving average, is expected to have accelerated in July to its highest in more than five years due to an increase in food prices.
The median forecast of nine analysts predicted the new consumer price index had risen to 21.5 percent in July, the highest reading for the index and above 21.0 percent in June.
From a year earlier, consumer prices are forecast to have risen 28.0 percent, edging down from a 28.2 percent rise in June.
"Food prices have increased compared to a year earlier," said Geeth Balasuriya, assistant research manager at HNB Stockbrokers. "However, we see a slow down in the rate of increase in food prices this month compared to June, due to better supply."
Food has a weighting of 45.5 percent in the new index.
Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal told Reuters in an interview early this month that inflation would not moderate as the central bank had expected and at year-end would be much higher than the targeted 10-11 percent but not over 20 percent.
He blamed high global food and oil prices for high inflation in the $27 billion economy.
In its July monetary policy review, the central bank kept its key interest rates steady for the 17th straight month.
But it cut its annual average reserve money target to 11.75 percent from 12.5 percent to curb high money supply in the economy.
The overnight repurchase rate stands at 10.5 percent and the reverse repurchase rate at 12 percent.
Both rates are at their highest levels since 2002, but well below T-bill rates, which commercial banks use as a reference for their own lending rates instead of the official rates.
The Census and Statistics Department introduced the new index formally from December, with 2002 as the base year, saying the old measure did not reflect the consumption pattern of households.
CCPI (N) (New Index, pct) 12-Mo Average vs year ago
Median 21.50 28.00
Average 21.38 27.67
Low 20.50 23.20 High 22.20 30.00 Number of banks 9
9 Note: The following banks participated in the poll: Commercial Bank of Ceylon, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, Citibank, National Development Bank (NDB) Nations Trust Bank (NTB), Hatton National Bank (HNB), Bank of Ceylon, and People's Bank. (Editing by Mark Williams)