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Thursday May 23rd, 2024

Sri Lanka consumer confidence surges to new peak in March 2024

ECONOMYNEXT — Consumer confidence in Sri Lanka surged to a new peak in March 2024 though all three indices run by the Institute for Health Policy (IHP), which ran the survey, were still at pessimistic levels.

The IHP’s March 2024 Consumer Confidence Indices, which are generated from its Sri Lanka Opinion Tracker Survey (SLOTS), improved to a new all-time peak in March, the institute said in a statement on Wednesday April 11.

The Index of Consumer Sentiment (ICS), the broadest measure of the public’s view of their personal economic status and the national economy gained 9 points to 31 points. The Index of Consumer Expectations (ICE), which tracks future perceptions increased 9 points to 37 points. The Index of Current Conditions (ICC), a measure of perceptions of current conditions, also increased 9 points to 22 points, the IHP said.

“Indices have been improving since the start of this year, so the general trend has been up. However, the late March data suggest a fall, but this will need to be confirmed in the April data before drawing conclusions. All IHP SLOTS consumer confidence indices range from zero to a potential maximum of 100, with levels below 50 indicating net pessimism.

“The CCI estimates are based on 15,924 interviews conducted between October 21, 2021–April 7, 2024, including 528 interviews conducted in March 2024, with sample sizes varying between indices depending on response rates. All estimates are adjusted to be representative of the national population, including gender, age, ethnicity, and income level,” the statement said.

The IHP’s SLOTS platform tracks public opinion and wellbeing daily using a large national panel recruited by face-to-face interviews and other randomly dialled respondents, with numerous peer-reviewed scientific publications that use the data.

According to the IHP, SLOTS combines data from a national sample of adults (ages 18 and over) reached by random digit dialling of mobile numbers, and others coming from a national panel of respondents who were previously recruited through random selection. All consumer confidence index estimates, the institute said, are weighted to be representative of the national population, including characteristics such as age, gender, province, sector, socioeconomic status, ethnicity and education. (Colombo/Apr11/2024)

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Sri Lanka has power breakdowns amidst extreme weather

ECONOMYNEXT – The state-owned power utility, the Ceylon Electricity Board has reported over 36,900 breakdowns resulting in power interruptions to more than 300,000 consumers in the last three days due to inclement weather in the island, the power minister said.

“Additional service staff has been assigned to attend the breakdowns and the CEB management & service staff are working 24 hours to restore power to the affected consumers,” Minister of Power and Energy, Kanchana Wijesekera said on social media platform X (twitter).

Wijesekera said consumers could report power interruptions through the CEB hotline 1987, via SMS to 1987 with BD and the electricity consumer number to follow, or use the CEB Care app, or through http://cebcare.ceb.lk.

The South-East monsoon has seen floods, landslides and strong winds do damage to the utility provider’s infrastructure in the last week. (Colombo/May23?2024)

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Sri Lanka President calls for unity, sacrificing for a better tomorrow on Vesak day

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe has recalled a sermon from the Buddha about sacrificing for a better tomorrow, and called for unity to heal and rebuild the country, as Buddhists celebrate Vesak.

Buddhists celebrate Vesak as commemorating the birth, enlightenment and passing away of the Buddha.

“At this challenging moment, we as a nation should cultivate the same great zeal for enlightenment that Buddha exemplified, inspired by his sermon, “Maththasukha parichchaga- passé che vipulan sukhan” – to sacrifice today for a better tomorrow,” President Wickremesinghe said in his Vesak day message.

“We must remember the advice of Lord Buddha, “Sabbattha Sammanaso,” to treat everyone equally and ensure we put it into practice as a country. This is the greatest offering we can present to the Buddha on this Vesak day.

“Regardless of race, religion, caste, or political affiliation, we must all unite to heal and rebuild our country. ”

The full statement is reproduced below:

The Vesak festival is a profoundly sacred day for Buddhists worldwide, commemorating the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and passing. Buddhists in Sri Lanka, along with their brethren around the globe, celebrate Vesak with deep devotion. They spend this period engaging in religious observances and venerating the Buddha with fervent devotion.

At this challenging moment, we as a nation should cultivate the same great zeal for enlightenment that Buddha exemplified, inspired by his sermon, “Maththasukha parichchaga- passé che vipulan sukhan” – to sacrifice today for a better tomorrow.

We must remember the advice of Lord Buddha, “Sabbattha Sammanaso,” to treat everyone equally and ensure we put it into practice as a country. This is the greatest offering we can present to the Buddha on this Vesak day. Regardless of race, religion, caste, or political affiliation, we must all unite to heal and rebuild our country. The principles of Lichchavi Raja Dharmaya will guide us in this endeavour.

Let us keep in mind that the primary aim of the Vesak festival is to foster spiritual growth and character development in a world rapidly advancing physically. I wish everyone a blessed Vesak festival.

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Sri Lanka to host foreign artistes, Sigiriya fashion show to promote tourism

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka plans to bring down international artistes, and hold water festivals to boost tourists, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Chairman, Chalaka Gajabahu said.

“We will be hosting a few international artists in September to December,” Gajabahu told EconomyNext.

“We would also be having a fashion show in Sigiriya.”

Sri Lanka is targeting 2.3 million tourists in the year 2024 with expectations that it may go up to 2.5 million Gajabahu said.

Sri Lanka is also planning on having a water festival in coastal towns such as Trincomalee, Arugambay  and Kalpitiya in order to showcase Sri Lanka’s capacity for watersports, Gajabahu said. (Colombo/May22/2024)

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