2013 was a period of consolidation in Sri Lanka, marked by ripples from a series of corrective measures in 2012 aimed to chill an overheated economy. The indicators are that the worst could be over. As 2013 came to a close, inflation was heading south and the Sri Lankan rupee was relatively stable, leaving consumers and businesses wondering if 2014 will be the year when confidence begins to ascend—leading to a bounce-back in consumption.
As a country, Sri Lanka boasts an impressive per-capita GDP—one that’s bigger than India’s and steadily approaching Indonesia’s. Given the country’s economic footprint, marketers and brands certainly have an opportunity to increase their engagement with consumers—engagement that hinges on understanding their needs and spending habits.
On the heels of several landmark events over the past five years, including President Mahinda Rajapaksa winning a second, six-year term in 2010, sentiment about the future is improving among Sri Lankan consumers and businesses. Both consumer and business confidence are up significantly from their low points, even though there was some vacillation toward the end of 2013. At year-end, consumer confidence was at 68 (up from a recent low of 57 in August 2012) and business confidence was at 130 (up from a recent low of 90 in July 2012).