To evaluate this claim, FactCheck.lk consulted the National Consumer Price Index (NCPI) and Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI) published by the Department of Census and Statistics.
Consumer Price Indexes measure the overall price level of a selected basket of consumption (based on how people tend to allocate their spending). The year-on-year (YoY) inflation statistic reports the percentage change in the price index (price level) compared to the same month of the previous year.
The inflation statistics quoted by the president (70% and 25.2%) align better with the YoY inflation statistic of the CCPI (than the NCPI) (see Exhibit 1). CCPI YoY inflation reached a high of 69.8% in September 2022, and in May 2023 it was 25.2%.
The president concludes that “the burden of daily life” has been “lightened” due to the lower YoY inflation in May 2023 compared to September 2022. However, this burden would only be lightened if prices decreased. As an indexed number, the CCPI for September 2022 was 189.3, while the CCPI for May 2023 was 192.3. As CCPI measures the overall price level, these numbers show that prices have increased (slightly) by 1.6% during that period – not that they have decreased, as implied by the president’s statement.
While the president correctly highlights a significant decrease in the YoY inflation statistic in Sri Lanka, his claim that this has led to lightening the burden of daily life (which would be a reduction in the overall price levels) is not correct.
Therefore, we classify his statement as PARTLY TRUE.
*FactCheck.lk’s verdict is based on the most recent information that is publicly accessible. As with every fact check, if new information becomes available, FactCheck.lk will revisit the assessment.
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