The NCPI captures broader retail price inflation and is released with a lag of 21 days every month.

Food prices eased sharply to 27.1% in April from 42.3% in March, while non-food inflation was at 39%, the Department of Census and Statistics said in a statement.

The data comes as an International Monetary Fund team is in Colombo to evaluate Sri Lanka's economy for the first time since the global lender approved a nearly $3 billion bailout in March for Sri Lanka, grappling with its worst financial crisis in seven decades because of economic mismanagement and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Colombo Consumer Price Index, released at the end of each month, dropped to 35.3% in April from 50.3% in March, data from the statistics department showed.

(Reporting by Rama Venkat in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Chopra)

By Uditha Jayasinghe