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New Year to be more joyous with price drop in Avurudu sweetmeats

By: Staff Writer

April 07, Colombo (LNW): Next week’s celebration of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year will be more joyous than it had been in the three preceding years. There were distinct signs that the country had passed through its darkest and hardest times and was looking forward to happier days, several economic experts predicted.

This year’s celebration of the New Year with lesser scarcities of essentials than in the preceding three years, and the decrease in some prices, have evoked hopes of achieving a Subha Aluth Avuruddak (prosperous New Year).

However, for this to be realised, these wishes must be followed by a new work ethic that enhances the production of goods and services, they added.

The improvement in the external finances and the prospect of further improvement during the course of the year (discussed in my previous column) lend hope of increased employment, incomes, and lesser poverty, hunger and malnutrition.

The current economic recovery is merely an easing in the availability of essential items and not one brought about by economic growth.

The World Bank raised its forecast for Sri Lanka’s economy on Tuesday, projecting growth of 2.2% for 2024 as the crisis-hit nation makes a faster-than-expected recovery from its worst financial crisis in decades.

The improved economic conditions have been brought about by exogenous factors: increased remit-tances from abroad and increased tourist earnings. These two sources are expected to contribute about US$ 8 to 9 billion and wipe out the trade deficit.

In addition, the International Monetary Fund’s (IMFs) Extended Finance Facility (EFF) is expected to bring in project assistance to boost the reserves, although the IMF’ssecond  tranche of US$ 333 million is not of much significance.

The cost of preparing a traditional “kevili” (sweetmeats) table for the Sinhala and Tamil New Year has decreased by 2% in 2024 compared to 2023, according to an analysis published on PublicFinance.lk, Sri Lanka’s leading economic insights platform managed by Verité Research.

The data reveals that ingredient costs in 2024 are 2.2 times higher than in 2019, down from a 2.3 times increase in 2023 compared to 2019.

A “kevili” table features an array of traditional Sri Lankan sweetmeats symbolising prosperity and happiness. Despite variations between households, the typical elements of a “kevili” table include milk rice, kokis, banana, aluwa, kevum, dodol, mun kevum, and butter cake.

The analysis, based on recipes from the popular YouTube channel “Ape Amma” for a household of 4-5 people, focused only on main ingredients, excluding utilities (electricity/gas) and spices.

Price data was sourced from the Department of Census and Statistics, including Open Market Weekly Average Retail Prices in the Colombo District for 2019 (April Week 1), 2023 (April Week 1), and 2024.

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