The unique cost of living index skyrockets to an all-time high in March

It’s official! The barometer of the cost of living – the PepperCube Cost of Living Index (CLI) – is now at an all-time high of 93.2, which follows a similar outcome in January when the CLI breached the 90 mark for the first time since the unique index was launched in the third quarter of 2011.

Moreover, the March CLI is 18-plus points higher than where it stood a year ago.

In the meantime, the Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI) shot up yet again, from 15.1 percent year on year in February to as high as 18.7 percent in March, which means the CCPI has spiked every month since last September when it registered a somewhat palatable 5.7 percent.

Close to all poll participants (i.e. 96% vs. 97% in February) consulted by PepperCube during the course of March say the cost of living of their families has escalated ‘highly’ or ‘moderately’ in the last 12 months.

And as far as the cost of living in the next 12 months is concerned, 95% (vs. 92% in the prior month) of those polled say they expect an escalation of their household expenditure.

So what do people say about the prospect of cost of living hardships ahead – vis-à-vis their capacity to purchase non-food goods and services, by considering their cost of living, economic status and ability to save in the next 12 months?

The survey outcome reveals that 86 percent of the sample population say they will ‘not have a chance at all’ or ‘not have a chance’ whereas around three-quarters said so a month ago.

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