The economy of Sri Lanka fell deep into a recession and incomes deteriorated in the two years of the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, said its Department of Census and Statistics (DCS).
The South Asian country's average monthly household income was estimated at LKR76,414 (1LKR = Tk0.26), reports Colombo-based English newspaper Daily Mirror.
To put things into perspective, the aforementioned figure reflects the income for an average household comprising 3.7 people and there are also vast disparities between the three segments – urban, rural and estate.
The latest Household Income and Expenditure Survey 2019 of Sri Lanka show that an urban household on average earned LKR116,670 per month.
Meanwhile, the rural family generated an average of LKR69,517 which has become even weaker for an estate sector family at LKR46,865.
During the two years of the Covid-19 pandemic the country saw its incomes falling amid hyperinflation resulting in families losing 40% of the value of their nominal incomes within just one year through May 2022, the Daily Mirror report added.
The survey also found out that the poorest 20% of the households in Sri Lanka were generating only LKR17,572 while the poorest 40% of the households generated LKR26,931.
Besides, the richest 20% of the households in Sri Lanka on average earn LKR196,289/month, which may have grown in the last two years in nominal terms.
But their purchasing power fell sharply in the last six months due to double-digit inflation, which accelerated into runaway prices from March onwards.
Whereas, the middle 60% of the households generated an average monthly income of LKR56, 079 for a family of 3.7 persons.
As per the report published on Sunday, the living standards of 80% of the households in Sri Lanka have been affected while the bottom 40% may have been plunged into dire poverty due to inflation which acts as an insidious tax on people's incomes.