THE COST OF LIVING
UPTICK IN HOUSEHOLD BURDEN
The citizenry observes a slight increase in the cost of living – survey
The PepperCube Cost of Living Index (CLI) witnessed an uptick of three percent to reach 68.3 in January – although this represents a notable decline of 18 percent compared to the CLI from a year back.
An index based on a monthly survey that aims to measure and understand perceptions about the cost of living – as opposed to reported or official inflation – the latest CLI has seen its gap with the Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI) widen – albeit marginally – which would imply that the household burden has increased to some degree.
Eighty-seven percent (versus 91% in the previous month) of those surveyed by PepperCube responded that the household burden has escalated when asked the extent to which the cost of living of their families has increased or decreased in the last 12 months.
Another eight percent feel that it remained the same while five percent of respondents point to a lower cost of living.
When it comes to the trajectory of the household burden, 54 percent (up from 44% in December) of survey participants are of the view that the cost of living would increase in the next 12 months. Meanwhile, 16 percent of those polled expect the burden to lessen in the 12 months ahead whereas 13 percent believe that conditions are likely to remain the same during this period.
In addition, close to a third of those consulted as part of the CLI survey note a lower likelihood of being able to purchase goods and services (non-food) in the context of the cost of living, economic status and ability to save in the next 12 months, which is broadly in line with the poll responses from the prior month.