Economic Imperatives post 8th January by Ceylon Chamber of Commerce

Since the end of the conflict in 2009, Sri Lanka has achieved economic growth above 7 percent on average and a relatively stable macro-economic position. Inflation and interest rates have been low, fiscal deficits have been steadily reduced, balances of payments have been stable, and investment in infrastructure has increased. However, household incomes have not kept pace with GDP growth. As per the Household Income and Expenditure Survey of the Department of Census and Statistics, inflation adjusted per capita monthly income has increased from Rs. 6,411 in 2006/07 to just Rs. 6,953 in 2012/13.

Therefore, a key objective over the medium term must be to ensure more robust growth of incomes at household level along with broader economic development. Economic growth must be broadbased, and not limited to a few narrow sectors that benefit only some segments of society.

Whilst overall unemployment is at a historical low of 4.4%, youth unemployment remains significantly higher at 19.1%.Furthermore, as a small nation of 20 mn people, achieving the country’s full economic potential and sustaining growth over the long term will depend on its ability to build a robust export led economy. To achieve these ends, the country requires reforms to enhance its competitiveness and productivity.
Considering the above, we make the following recommendations and remain committed and ready to contrib