Sri Lanka\'s inflation rate continued at a seven month high of 9.8 percent in February on higher food prices, the Central Bank said in a statement here on Friday. The Census and Statistics Department that compiles the monthly data, which is then released by the Central Bank, showed that inflation rate remained unchanged from January maintaining their 9. 8 percent level. However, commodity prices showed a significant increase from February a year ago when inflation was recorded at 2.7 percent. Annual core inflation has also risen with February tagged at 8. 6 percent when compared with 6.1 percent in 2012. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) earlier this month warned that the Sri Lankan government would find inflation control challenging. They have also predicted that inflation would be close to double digit level in 2013 for the first time since 2011. In recent months the Sri Lankan government has come under fire from people charging that cost of living is too high and demanding higher salaries. Inflation will also be a top factor in wage negotiations in Sri Lanka\'s crucial tea sector, which is expected to begin later this month.