Headline inflation, as measured by the year-on-year (Y-o-Y) change in the Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI, 2021=100)1 decreased to a single digit of 6.3 per cent in July 2023 from 12 per cent in June 2023.
The decline in the headline inflation is broadly in line with the disinflation path envisaged by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CB) in July 2023, the banking regulator said on Monday.
The Food category, after nearly four years, recorded a deflation (Y-o-Y) of 1.4 per cent in July 2023 compared to the inflation of 4.1 per cent observed in June 2023. Meanwhile, the Non-Food inflation (Y-o-Y) decreased further to 10.5 per cent in July 2023 from 16.2 per cent in June 2023.
The monthly change of the CCPI recorded at -1.12 per cent in July 2023 due to the combined effect of price decreases of -1.13 per cent observed in the items of Non-Food category and the marginal price increases of 0.01 per cent recorded in the items of Food category. The core inflation (Y-o-Y), which reflects the underlying inflation in the economy, decreased to 6.1 per cent in July 2023 from 9.8 per cent in June 2023
“Looking ahead, based on the available information, inflation is expected to moderate further and stabilise around the targeted level over the medium term. This disinflation process is supported by the lagged impact of tight monetary and fiscal policies, improvements on the supply side, the softening of energy and food inflation, and the favourable base effect,” it was stated.
Price of chicken reduced from midnight today
Local poultry producers have agreed to reduce the price of chicken by Rs. 100 per kilogram, with effect from midnight today (Sep. 21).
The agreement was reached following a discussion with the Minister of Trade, Commerce and Food Security, Nalin Fernando, this afternoon.
Accordingly, a kilogram of chicken will now be sold at Rs. 1,150.
Lanka Sathosa slashes prices of 6 essential food items
Lanka Sathosa, on Wednesday (20 Sep.), reduced the prices of six essential food items.
The price reduction will be in effect from today.
Accordingly, the prices of the following goods have been reduced:
• Soya meat – Rs.580 per kilogram (reduced by Rs.45)
• Local Potatoes – Rs.290 per kilogram (reduced by Rs.40)
• Thai sprats – Rs.1,100 per kilogram (reduced by Rs.30)
• Garlic – Rs.620 per kilogram (reduced by Rs.30)
• Big onions – Rs.195 per kilogram (reduced by Rs.15)
• Red lentils – Rs. 299 per kilogram (reduced by Rs.06)
X to go behind paywall?
Elon Musk has suggested that all users of X, formerly called Twitter, may have to pay for access to the platform.
In a conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the billionaire said a payment system was the only way to counter bots.
“We’re moving to having a small monthly payment for use of the system,” the Tesla and SpaceX boss said.
The BBC approached X for further details but has not yet received a statement from the company.
It is unclear whether this was just an off-the-cuff comment, or a signal of firmer plans that have yet to be announced.
Mr Musk has long said that his solution for getting rid of bots and fake accounts on the social media platform is charging for verification.
Since taking over Twitter last year he has looked to incentivise users to pay for an enhanced service, which is now called X Premium.
This has been done by giving paid subscribers more features, like longer posts and increased visibility on the platform.
However, users can currently still use X for free.
Although there is a clear financial interest for the company to charge users, Mr Musk insisted that getting people to pay for the service is aimed at tackling bots.
“A bot costs a fraction of a penny” to make he said. “But if somebody even has to pay a few dollars or something, some minor amount, the effective cost to bots is very high”.
X Premium currently costs $8 (£6.50) a month in the US. The price differs depending on which country a subscriber is in.
The world’s richest person said that he was now looking at cheaper options for users.
“We’re actually going to come up with a lower tier pricing. So we just want it to be just a small amount of money,” he said.
“This is a longer discussion, but in my view, this is actually the only defence against vast armies of bots,” Mr Musk added.
However, a risk is that by putting X behind a paywall it may lose a large chunk of its users. That in turn, could drive down advertising revenue, which currently accounts for the vast majority of the company’s income.
Mr Musk’s conversation with the Israeli prime minister also touched on antisemitism on X.
The platform has been accused by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) campaign group of not doing enough to stop antisemitic content.
In a statement, the organisation said that Mr Musk was “engaging with and elevating” antisemites.
Earlier this month, he said that the company would sue the ADL to “clear our platform’s name”.
In the conversation with Mr Netanyahu, Mr Musk reiterated that he was “against antisemitism”.
Mr Netanyahu accepted the balance between free speech and content moderation was a challenge but urged Mr Musk to get the balance right.
“I hope you find within the confines of the First Amendment, the ability to stop not only antisemitism… but any collective hatred of people that antisemitism represents,” he said.
“I know you’re committed to that”, Mr Netanyahu added.
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