September, 23, 2017
This brief report of the Perceived Economic Opportunity (PEO) presents the analysis of a random survey carried out using a sample of 400 men and women in June 2017 covering all districts in Sri Lanka on their expectations of economic prospects in the ensuing twelve months.
Analysis of the perceived economic opportunities in the month of June 2017 indicates, that the expectations in terms of job prospects of people or developing the status of their business in the ensuing 12 months has been decreased, compared to May 2017.
The expectations in terms of job prospects of people or developing the status of their business reported an increase in the month of May 2017 compared to the month of April 2017.
It is significant to note that the same expectation showed a continuous increase from December 2016 to February 2017 and then began to fall from the month of March 2017.
Inflation, as measured by the change in the National Consumer Price Index (NCPI) (2013=100), which is compiled by the Department of Census and Statistics, increased to 8.6 percent in March 2017 from 8.2 percent in February 2017, on the year-on-year basis. However, it again decreased to 8.4 percent in the month of April 2017 and to 7.1 percent in the month of May 2017. The Central Bank of Sri Lanka said the inflation decelerated to 6.3 percent in the month of June 2017.
In the meantime, a growth has been shown in the external sector performance in the month of June 2017.
A substantial growth in industrial and agricultural exports and a decline in the importation of consumer and intermediate goods resulted in a notable improvement in the trade balance in June 2017.
A significant slowdown in workers’ remittances was observed in June 2017 with a 13.5 percent reduction in remittances on a year-on-year basis amounting to US dollars 557.6 million during the month.
Earnings from tourism also increased by 4.5 percent in the month of June 2017, compared to the same month in the year 2016.
Export earnings in June 2017 expanded for the fourth consecutive month to US dollars 987 million, registering a 9.6 percent year-on-year growth.
The below graph shows the change of expectations in terms of job prospects of people or developing 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 month of June 2017.
ABILITY TO SAVE
According to the analysis in the month of June 2017, the expectation among the people to save a little more from their personal earnings in the ensuing 12 months, has decreased.
However, the same expectation recorded an increase in the month of May 2017.
Please Refer the Graph 02;
The expectation for reduction of corruption in the country started to fall in March, and the same expectation continued to fall even in the third month, May 2017.
But, the same expectation showed a positive trend in the month of June 2017.
The higher expectation for the reduction of corruption in the country that many expected at the time the current government came into office, has gradually decreased in past months. But, it is significant to note, that this perception took a dramatic fall in October 2016 likely due to the much-publicized issue of the probe by the Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises, or COPE.
Sri Lanka appointed a Special Presidential Commission of Inquiry to investigate the controversial Central Bank bond issue and recommend action in the month of January 2017 and it is significant that the investigation has reached an important stage by the month of June 2017.
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.
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.