There’s now an emerging trend of slightly better news on the inflation front

The PepperCube Cost of Living Index (CLI) continues to remain in the ninth percentile – as it has been since March last year – albeit that it is edging towards bottoming out of the highest notch of the CLI.

In March, the barometer stood at 91.3, which represents a notable easing from 95.6 in February.

In the meantime, the Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI) dipped ever so slightly to register 50.3 percent year on year (from 50.6% in the previous month) – note however, that this is the ninth consecutive month in which the CCPI has registered above 50 percent (year on year).

As for comparisons, year on year inflation was only marginally below 19 percent in March 2022.

Meanwhile, 98 percent (that’s one percentage point lower than in the prior month) of executives polled in March say the cost of living in the preceding 12 months escalated ‘highly’ or ‘moderately.’

In March last year, the naysayers count stood at 96 percent.

On the contrary, sentiment about the cost of living in the next 12 months has improved somewhat with 86 percent of the sample population (versus 95% in the previous month) expecting prices to increase ‘highly’ or ‘moderately’ during this period.

For the record, this measure stood at 95 percent a year ago.

Among those polled by PepperCube, the percentage of respondents who say 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 has also reduced from 69 percent in February to 57 percent a month later.

Around half (52%) 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.