Sri Lanka's consumer price inflation rate accelerated to 6.5% in January year-on-year from 4.2% in December, official data showed on Wednesday, driven by a higher tax needed to meet targets set under a $2.9 billion IMF programme.

The National Consumer Price Index (NCPI) captures broader retail price inflation and is released with a lag of 21 days every month.

Food prices rose 4.1% on the year from 1.6% in December, the Department of Census and Statistics said in a statement.

Prices for non-food items increased 8.5% last month from 6.3% in December.

Sri Lanka racked up record inflation that peaked at 70% in September 2022 after its economy was pummelled by the worst financial crisis in decades, triggered by a plunge in foreign exchange reserves. (Reporting by Uditha Jayasinghe; Editing by Andrew Heavens)