Thushara Indunil Amarasena

MP Thushara Indunil highly inflates the high inflation


The cost of many goods and services increased to levels that couldn’t be borne [by the people]. The cost of many goods and services increased by 300% [sic] when compared to 2020. That means, the cost of goods and services increased by a ratio of 1 to 3. The egg that children ate for Rs. 12, increased by a ratio of 1 to 5, up to Rs. 60, 65.

Parliament | February 21, 2024



Fact Check

MP Thushara Indunil in explaining the huge increase in the cost of goods and services states that the cost of ‘many’ goods and services has increased threefold compared to 2020 (a threefold increase is a 200% increase not a 300% increase), and the price of eggs specifically has increased fivefold.

To verify the claims, consulted the ‘Weekly Retail Prices for Selected Consumer Items: Colombo District’, ‘Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI) Inflation Subgroup-wise Chart’ and headline inflation published by the Department of Census and Statistics (DCS), and Central Bank’s ‘Retail Pettah Prices’ (RPP).

To assess this claim evaluated increases in the cost of non-food items, food items and eggs. See Additional Note 1.

Headline and non-food items: The headline inflation index by January 2024 had increased by less than the threefold claimed (but still around twofold) compared to 2020. There are 11 non-food categories in DCS data, and as of January 2024, none of them have increased threefold when compared to 2020.

Food items: DCS data shows that during the same period, overall average retail prices for 107 food items had increased by approximately twofold. Of these 107 items, prices of only 13 items increased by threefold or more, (while 50 items increased over twofold). These 13 items account for less than 1% of the consumption basket used to calculate inflation.

Eggs: DCS data reveals that average egg prices rose from Rs. 19.6 in 2020 to Rs. 52.3 in 2024, marking a 2.7-fold increase—and not a fivefold increase as claimed by the MP (see Additional Note 2).

Thus, publicly available data reveal that the cost of food and non-food items have increased by close to twofold but not threefold as claimed by the MP between 2020 and 2024, and that the cost of eggs increased by 2.7-fold, not fivefold as claimed.

The MP in explaining the unprecedented increase in the cost of goods and services hugely overstates that increase—citing twofold increases as threefold increase and fivefold increases.

Therefore, we classify his statement as FALSE.

Additional Notes:

  • lk used January 2020 four weeks of average data and December 2020 four weeks of average data to arrive at average retail price levels for the year 2020 (many prices fell between January and December 2020). This figure is then compared with the January 2024 four weeks’ average price levels to evaluate the rate of the change.
  • RPP data shows that eggs were priced at about Rs. 13 on 31 December in both 2016 and 2017 and prices rose to around Rs. 60 in the first week of January 2023, and decreased thereafter. Therefore, the fivefold price increase referred to by the MP occurred over a different period in the past.


Weekly Retail Prices for Selected Consumer Items Colombo District, DCS.

CCPI Base Weights (2019) latest available, DCS.

Colombo Consumer Price Index by Subgroups, DCS (2021=100) and (2013=100).

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