Dec 29, Colombo: Sri Lanka has become less prosperous over the last year, according to an indicator introduced by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka to measure the level of prosperity of the country.
Sri Lanka Prosperity Index (SLPI) evaluates 41 variables categorized into three sub-indices, Economy and Business Climate, Wellbeing of the People and Socio-Economic Infrastructure.
According to a Central Bank report issued Monday, SLPI recorded 0.802 in 2019 compared to 0.811 in 2018, with marginal declines of ‘Economy and Business Climate’ and ‘Socioeconomic Infrastructure’ sub-indices while the ‘Well-being of the People’ sub-index has improved during the year.
The report said the spillover effects of the Easter Sunday attack on tourism and related industries resulting in an increase in unemployment, and relatively high inflation due to adverse weather conditions towards the latter part of 2019 were the key reasons for the decline in Economy and Business Climate sub-index.
Reduced usage of public transportation due to concerns on security, aftermath of the Easter Sunday attack, mainly resulted in the decline in Socioeconomic Infrastructure sub-index.
Improvements in the aspects of quality of education, health facilitation and wealth of people were the major contributors to the increase in Well-being of the People sub-index.
When prosperity of the provinces is considered, the Western province remained at the leading position recording the highest value of 1.615, for the overall prosperity index with a marginal increase of 0.018 index points compared to 2018. Southern and Central provinces were ranked at second and third positions, respectively.
In comparison to the previous year, North Central province recorded the highest increase in provincial prosperity index followed by Eastern and Western provinces.
Uva Province remained in the bottom as the least prosperous province with the index declining from 0.083 in 2018 to 0.025 in 2019.
Eastern, North Central, Northern and Uva provinces have recorded improvements in the Economy and Business Climate sub-index with increases in informal sector wages and increased formal sector employment. The deterioration of the sub-index in other provinces was mainly caused by decreases in employment and high inflation levels.
The Well-being of the People Sub-Index improved in all provinces except for Southern, predominantly due to improvements in the aspects of health, education and wealth of people where vehicle ownership and access to supermarkets increased. Meanwhile, the slight deterioration of the sub index in Southern province was mainly due to reduced levels in the aspects of environment, entertainment and education.
Southern and Western provinces recorded increases in the Socio-Economic Infrastructure Sub-Index with improvements to the road network, availability of electricity and enhanced crime-free environment. The decline of the sub-index of other provinces, with the highest decline recording from Uva, was mainly due to reduced levels of transportation and availability of safe drinking water.
Full report on Prosperity index is available here.