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* Sri Lanka inflation rises to one-year high in February
Fri, Feb 26, 2010, 09:44 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 26, Colombo: Sri Lanka's rate of inflation, on a year on year basis, rose for the 5th consecutive month to 6.9 percent in February hitting a one-year high as consumer spending in the country increased in parallel to the rising global commodity prices.

The Inflation hit a record high of 28.2 in June 2008 and declined since then to 7.6 in February 2009.

The Department of Census and Statistics data released today showed that the annual average inflation rate however remained at a record six-year low of 3.1 percent this month.

According to the Governor of the Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal the consumer prices are expected to rise as much as 5 percent towards the end of the year. Inflation rate between 5-6 percent is expected this year.

The International Monetary Fund, which just finished a review on Sri Lanka's finances, expects the inflation to remain low.

The recent upward trend in inflation due to increases in food and other international commodity prices will peak in the mid year and reverse in the latter half of the year, the IMF said Thursday.

Consumer's Price Index increased only slightly by 0.2 percent over previous month's, with the Index moving upward to 216.9 from 216.4 in January.

The Central Bank expects to continue its tight monetary policies to keep inflation below 10 percent while sustaining an economic recovery.

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