Both the cost of living index and year on year inflation continue to dip

As it has been since March last year, the PepperCube Cost of Living Index (CLI) continues to remain in the ninth percentile – in January 2023, the barometer registered 95.7, which represents an ever so slight dip from 95.8 in December.

In the meantime, the Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI) shed three percentage points to register 54.2 percent year on year (from 57.2% in the previous month). This follows declines of between four and five percent in November and December 2022.

That said, this is the eighth consecutive month in which the CCPI has been above 50 percent (year on year).

As for comparisons, year on year inflation was only slightly above 14 percent in January 2022.

Ninety-eight percent (that’s one percentage point lower than in the prior month) of executives polled in January feel the cost of living in the preceding 12 months escalated ‘highly’ or ‘moderately.’

The level of anxiety about cost of living escalations stood at 97 percent 12 months ago – so in that sense, nothing has changed!

Sentiment pertaining to the cost of living in the next 12 months hasn’t changed either, with more than nine in 10 of those polled by PepperCube continuing to believe that prices will increase ‘highly’ or ‘moderately’ during this time.

In both October and November, 87 percent said so – although in December 2021, a higher percentage (93%) expressed this view.

Of the sample population, 63 percent (up 4% from December) believe they ‘will not have a chance at all’ to purchase non-food goods and services or be able to save in the next 12 months.

For the record, only 36 percent said so at this time last year.

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.