Issuing National Consumer Price Index (NCPI), for the month of January 2018, Dr. Amara Satharasinghe, Director General of Census and Statistics said that the Year on Year inflation based on NCPI has declined to 5.4% from 7.3% in December 2017.Inflation of 5.4% reported for January 2018 is the lowest inflation reported since January 2017.Contributions to the inflation in January 2018from food group and non-food group are4.0% and1.4% respectively, whilst contributions of these two groups to the inflation in January 2017 were 2.9% and 3.6% respectively,resulting headline inflation of 6.5%.
However, when compared to month on month changes, NCPI in January2018 has decreased to 125.8 from 126.6 reported in December 2017. This shows adecrease of 0.8 index points or 0.6percentage points in January2018 as compared to December 2017. This month on month change was due to the decrease of expenditure value of food items by 0.78% and increase of non-food items by 0.11%.
The decrease in expenditure value of food itemswas due to the price decreases of vegetables, green chilies, coconuts, red onions, rice, limes, big onions, mysore dhal, potatoes, garlic and eggs. However, increases in expenditure value in index were reported for fresh fish, banana, mangoes, papaw,chicken, chilly powder and dried fish.
The increase in expenditure value of non food items in January 2018 compared to the previous month was due to the expenditure valueincreases in groups of ‘Restaurant and Hotels’,‘Transport’,‘Miscellaneous Goodsand Services’, ‘Education’, ‘Health’and ‘Clothing and Footwear’. Further, the groupsof ‘Furnishing, Household equipment and Routine household maintenance’and ‘Alcoholic beverages, Tobacco and Narcotics’recorded very slight expenditure value increases compared to the preceding month.The expenditure value of ‘Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other fuels’, ‘Communication’ and‘Recreation and Culture’groups remained unchanged during this month.