People stand in line to buy domestic gas tanks near a distributor

People stand in line to buy domestic gas tanks near a distributor

People stand in line to buy domestic gas tanks near a distributor, amid the country’s economic crisis, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, June 1, 2022

Cash-strapped Sri Lanka saw its highest inflation on record for the eighth consecutive month in May, official data showed Wednesday, as the island nation grapples with its worst-ever economic crisis.

The Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI) rose 39.1 percent year-on-year last month, up from 29.8 percent in April, according to the statistics department.

Food inflation in Colombo came in at 57.4 percent, up from 46.6 percent in April.

The price increases in May were yet to fully capture the sharp increases in fuel, one of the many vital commodities in scarce supply across the country.

Private economists say consumer prices are rising even faster than official records show, with one John Hopkins University analyst tracking March inflation at 133 percent — more than six times the official figure.

Sri Lanka’s import-dependent economy has been hammered by a critical foreign currency shortage, leading to months of acute shortages of food, medicines and other essentials.

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