Rural homes begin to spend, challenging marketers

In a rural village in the North Western Province, there is no rain for four months of the year and incomes are low. But families are making some life-changing economic decisions. In a rural village in the North Western Province, there is no rain for four months of the year and incomes are low. But families are making some life-changing economic decisions.

Where incomes are a fraction of the rich Western province, one family made an investment of Rs. 17,500 for a rain water harvesting tank and another, Rs. 65,000 for a solar home kit, on easy payment schemes.

“Despite low incomes, there is a shifting demand in purchase decisions. There is a demand for utilities, for goods, for better health services, for consumables like ice cream,” Dr. Anila Dias Bandaranaike, Director Statistics at the Central Bank, said.

The findings are from the Central Bank’s latest Socio-Economic survey, showing changing consumer perceptions in buying for themselves and their homes.

The survey covered 12,000 households in most parts of the country, leaving out only the war torn districts of Killinochi, Mannar and Mullaitivu – about 1.9 percent of all households.

The same village that