Sri Lanka vehicle registration see slight upturn in August

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s vehicle registrations rose to 41,798 units in August from 35,775 in July, with motorcycles picking up to 29,365 units from 25,025 units, an analysis of vehicle registry data shows.

Total registrations were sharply down from 51,161 unit a year earlier.

JB Securities, an equities brokerage in Colombo said motor car registrations picked up 3,011 units from 2,596 units a month earlier, but was down from 9,107 units a year earlier.

Sri Lanka’s vehicle registrations came down with a sharp increase in taxes and credit restrictions were slapped on motor cars, after vehicle imports were singled out for blame when a bout of money printing triggered a balance of payments crisis.

In country where Mercantilism has almost completely overshadowed economics, balance of payments trouble is routinely blamed on fuel imports. But this time with low prices, Mercantilists could not blame fuel imports for the currency collapse. Gold is a secondary target.

The rupee fell from 131 to 146 during the current balance of payments crisis, lowering the living standards permanently and pushing up domestic prices.

Analysts say car imports were a key ‘escape valve’ for money printed by the central bank in 2015, helping partly check domestic inflation and an asset price bubble, but the currency collapse pushed up all prices anyway.

Meanwhile JB Securities data showed mini truck registration have picked up to 1,448 units in August up from 1,148 reaching pre-crisis levels.

Three wheeler registrations rose to 4,355 units from 3,692 units in July, but remains sharply down from 9,107 units reached a year earlier.

Many three wheelers and motor cycles were bought by blue collar workers including tradesmen, raising living standards, but the new administration’s policies have put vehicles further out of reach of the less affluent, critics say. (Colombo/Aug18/2016)






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