The cost of living continues to head north – exclusive survey

For the second month in a row, the cost of living burden has headed in the wrong direction, which is up. The January PepperCube Cost of Living Index (PCLI) increased by a notable 7.2 points from December (to reach 83) compared to the 2.2 point rise in the preceding month.

On a year on year basis (i.e. compared with the corresponding index of January 2020) too, the latest PCLI reflects a rise of nearly 15 points.

At the same time, the gap between the PCLI and Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI) has widened considerably, which reflects a continuation of the trend witnessed during much of the second half of last year. This suggests that the household burden has risen in leaps and bounds.

More than nine in 10 respondents to PepperCube’s exclusive monthly survey say the cost of living of their families has increased – moderately or otherwise – over the last 12 months. Only four percent of those consulted state that the household burden has eased during this period whereas a similar number say the cost of living has remained unchanged.

As for the 12 months ahead, 83 percent of survey participants are of the view that the household burden is likely to escalate. Meanwhile, nine percent of those polled anticipate a reduction in the cost of living going forward while the remainder feel it ‘will be the same.’

And finally, more than six in 10 of the survey population note the likelihood of hardship ahead in terms of the ability to purchase non-food goods and services by considering their cost of living, economic status and saving capacity in the coming 12 months.

FOOTNOTE An index based on a monthly survey, the PCLI aims to measure and understand perceptions regarding the cost of living as opposed to reported or official inflation.