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Sri Lanka food prices hit record highs as shortages bite

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Colombo: Sri Lanka’s food prices rose by a record 22.1 per cent in December, official figures showed Saturday, as the country struggles to finance urgent imports to tackle an acute shortage of essentials.

The census and statistics department said food inflation hit an all-time high last month on a year-on-year basis since the Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI) was launched in 2013.

The price increases in December compared to a figure of 17.5 per cent in November, the previous record, the department said.

It added that overall inflation was also at a record 12.01 per cent in December, the highest since the CCPI index was launched.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in his New Year message expressed hope of reviving the cash-strapped economy but did not announce measures to address the crippling foreign exchange crisis.

“I am confident that the new year will provide an opportunity to further the steps taken by the government to pursue and overcome challenges and strengthen the people-centric economy,” he said.

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