The cost of living registers a marginal decline – exclusive survey

The PepperCube Cost of Living Index (CLI) for February recorded a decline of 2.1 points from the previous month – a reversal of the trend observed over the previous two months – to 80.9.

On the other hand, the latest CLI also reflects an increase of nine points compared to the corresponding index of February 2020.

Meanwhile, the gap between the CLI and the Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI) has narrowed following increases in December and January, which suggests that the household burden reduced to some extent in February.

Of those consulted by the pollsters, 96 percent (up from 92% in January) say the cost of living of their families has increased – moderately or otherwise – over the last 12 months. And a mere four percent of those surveyed state that the household burden has remained unchanged during this period while there were no reports of a decrease in the cost of living.

When it comes to the 12 months ahead, more than eight in 10 survey participants expect the household burden to escalate – which is by and large the same compared to the previous month. In contrast, only three percent of those polled anticipate a reduction in the cost of living in the future while 12 percent are of the view that it ‘will be the same.’

As for the ability to purchase non-food goods and services by considering their cost of living, economic status and savings capacity in the coming 12 months, more than half (compared to 66% in the prior month) of the survey sample point to the likelihood of negative conditions ahead.

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.