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Sri Lanka business community sentiment on the economy under siege : Survey

Sri Lanka business heads are looking at pros and cons in order to make sustainable business plans considering the economic situation under barricade, the latest edition of leading business magazine LMD observed.

Sri Lanka’s economic confidence was around the same levels in February 2023 as in October 2022, while government approval was also unchanged at a 10 percent, level, a survey has found.

A “Mood of the Nation” poll was conducted in early February 2023 by Verité Research, a Colombo-based think tank among a sample of 1,000 respondents found that economic confidence was a negative -78, the same as October 2022, when it recovered from June low.

In February 2023 0.3 percent had rated the economic conditions as excellent, 6.0 percent rated it as good; and 6.3 percent had rated it as getting better.

Sri Lanka’s external sector had stabilized by February 2023, with some prices falling absolutely, but taxes have been raised and utility prices are up. Manufacturing and retail is also under pressure

NielsenIQ’s Director – Consumer Insights Therica Miyanadeniya notes in the magazine: “The optimism that was evident towards the end of last year seems to be waning. Once again riding high as the most pressing national issue is the economy.

” LMD reports that a notable majority (77%) of executives responding to the unique LMD-NielsenIQ Business Confidence Index (BCI) monthly survey believe the economy “will get worse” in the 12 months ahead. The poll was carried out in the first week of February, a spokesperson for LMD claimed

The magazine states: “The outcome of the February poll is a reflection of what Miyanadeniya alludes to, as this degree of pessimism was expressed by only two-thirds of those who spoke to the pollsters in the preceding month.”

“It is also the highest point of economic pessimism in the last six months,” it adds. LMD also reports that “pessimism continues to be the overarching disposition in business circles,” as regards expectations regarding sales volumes in the 12 months ahead with 46% of poll respondents fearing the numbers will “get worse”

“Executive opinion in regard to sales volumes compared to the same time last year has also waned considerably with a mere 12% saying they have recorded higher numbers. And more than two-thirds (68%) now say their numbers have fallen, compared to 56% a month ago.

Media Services, LMD’s publisher, says the latest edition of the magazine has been released. Its digital edition is also available on WhatsApp and the publisher’s social media platforms.

The magazine’s Cover Story features interviews with six leading business people representing the export sector with the forex crunch at the centre of LMD’s focus.

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