What is people’s pulse on prosperity?

Thursday, 3 February 2011 01:19 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Despite 2011 being built up as the year of development and Sri Lanka on Friday celebrating its 63rd Independence Day, a new poll shows that people are maintaining a low profile with few expectations on both a personal and macroeconomic level.

The cost of living and economic conditions are not expected to improve by the majority of those surveyed.

The poll conducted by Daily FT in partnership with research specialist PepperCube Consultants show that 47% of those polled believe that the cost of living will not be reduced, while 27% stated that no change would occur. Regardless of record breaking economic growth in the last quarter of 2010, 36% still believe that the economy will not improve and 24% think that there will be no change. However, 27% are more positive in their outlook, while 13% are undecided.

In the sectors of law and order, healthcare, education, transport and peace, the majority believes that an improvement will be enjoyed by the country.

26% of the people surveyed plan on nothing new in 2011 and prefer to continue their lives unchanged from the previous year.Only 16% are planning on finding a new house and 13% are interested in buying household appliances or getting a new house. Even though vehicle taxes were slashed by the Budget, only 8% are focused on taking advantage of this measure, with most young people focused on preparing for exams and getting married.Even though entrepreneurship is being encouraged by the Government, 8% of those surveyed are interested in starting a new business, with 4% keen to find fresh employment overseas.

However, only 2% plan on going abroad for a vacation and 1% will migrate.

Interestingly, when rating personal expectations, 29% of those surveyed in the “finding a new job in Sri Lanka” category turned out to be from the Tamil community. Tamil people were also rated the highest in wanting to buy household appliances, vehicles and furniture, showing a strong interest in consumer spending.  Muslims were rated as the most enthusiastic in wanting to enter a child into a good school, start new businesses and find employment overseas.

When questioned about the upcoming local government elections, the responses were largely unenthusiastic, with 46% saying that it would have an unreasonable impact on their day-to-day activities.

In this, the urban population are expected to be more affected, with 53% believing it to be unreasonable as opposed to 41% in rural areas. Those between the ages of 16-20 and 36-45 say they will be the most impacted by the elections.