May, 1, 2018
Perceived Economic Opportunity PEO: First Quarter 2018 (January, February & March)
STATUS OF JOB PROSPECTS OR BUSINESS PERFORMANCE
Analysis of the perceived economic opportunities in the months of January, February and March 2018 indicate that the expectations in terms of job prospects of people or developing the status of their business in the ensuing 12 months has reduced compared to the month of December last year.
The same expectation showed a growing trend in the month of December 2017. The expectation showed a decrease in the month of January 2018 comparing to the month of December 2017 but increased sharply in the month of February 2018. However, the same showed a decreasing trend in the month of March 2018.
In January, the inflation in the country stood at 5.4 percent, and in view of the next 12 months, the expectation of the people to improve their employment status or business have been reduced.
Inflation declined to 3.2 percent in February 2018 and the same expectation has slightly increased.
The rupee has further depreciated compared to the US dollar in the first quarter of 2018. The rupee stood at 152.6 rupees against the US dollar in December 2017 and increased to 153.7 rupees in the end January 2018. The rupee stood at 154.8 against US dollar in February and further increased to 155.9 rupees in the month of March 2018 to buy a US dollar.
Sri Lanka’s external sector demonstrated an improvement in January 2018 with higher
inflows to the financial account in spite of the widening of the trade deficit. Tourist earnings recorded a notable growth during January 2018 while workers ‘remittances, which marked a set-back in 2017, also recorded a considerable growth on a year-on-year basis in January 2018. At the end of January 2018, gross official reserves of the country amounted to US dollars 7.7 billion, equivalent to 4.3 months of imports.
The below graph shows the change of expectations in terms of job prospects of people, or development of the status of their business, in the ensuing 12 months.
Refer the graph 01 below;
These reasons are likely to have had an impact on the expectations of job prospects and the business activities of the people in the months of January , February and March 2018.
ABILITY TO SAVE
According to the analysis in the months of January, February and March 2018, the expectation among the people to save a little more from their personal earnings in the ensuing 12 months has decreased compared to the month of December 2017. Please Refer the Graph 02;
EXPECTATION FOR REDUCTION OF CORRUPTION
The expectation for reduction of corruption in the country showed a significant positive trend in the first quarter 2018.
Please Refer the Graph 03;
PEO; Perceived Economic Opportunity is developed and surveyed by the Foundation for Economic Freedom in Sri Lanka. PepperCube Consultants carry out field research covering the entire country.
This brief report of the Perceived Economic Opportunity (PEO) presents the analysis of a random survey carried out using a random sample of 400 men and women covering all districts in Sri Lanka on their expectations of economic prospects in the ensuing twelve months.
The Perceived Economic Opportunity was developed and is measured by the Foundation for Economic Freedom in Sri Lanka (FEF) in partnership with Friedrich Naumann Stiftung Fur Die Freiheit.