Decline in consumers’ purchasing power hits manufacturing sector
SL Purchasing Managers’ Index – February 2023
Manufacturing PMI recorded an index value of 42.3 in February, indicating a continued setback in manufacturing activities on a month-on-month basis. This setback was driven by subdued performance observed in New Orders, Production, Employment and Stock of Purchases.
The decline in New Orders and Production was mainly driven by subdued demand observed in the manufacture of food & beverages, and textile & wearing apparel sectors. Many respondents representing the food & beverages sector mentioned that the decline in demand was mainly due to deterioration of purchasing power of the consumers.
However, they expect demand to increase on a month on month basis, targeting the festive season in April. Further, many manufacturers mentioned that the latest round of electricity tariff hike adversely affected their cost structure. Meanwhile, Employment and Stock of Purchases also continued to decline in line with the decline in New Orders and Production. It was observed that the manufacturers maintained material stock inventory at a minimum level, considering subdued demand conditions and the declining trend of global commodity prices, freight and exchange rates. Further, Suppliers’ Delivery Time remained unchanged at the previous month’s level.
Expectations for manufacturing activities for the next three months indicated an improvement, anticipating an increase in demand and production targeting the upcoming festive season, despite the adverse impact of the decline in disposable income.
Services sector PMI dropped to an index value of 48.7 in February 2023 indicating a deterioration across the servicessector. This was driven by the declines observed in New Businesses, Business Activities, Employment and Backlogs of Work.
New Businesses declined in February 2023 compared to January 2023, particularly with the decreases observed in transportation, insurance and postal and courier sub-sectors. Business Activities in the services sector declined in February 2023 after six months of continuous growth. Accordingly, business activities related to wholesale and retail trade sub-sector continued to deteriorate amid subdued consumer demand driven by diminishing purchasing power. Further, transportation sub-sector also continued to decline due to drop in freight volumes.
Meanwhile, human health, insurance and postal and courier subsectors also showed decreases during the month. Nevertheless, financial sector continued to improve with the improvements in deposits.Employment continued to decline in February due to resignations, migrations and retirements occurred during the month. Meanwhile, Backlogs of Work also decreased during the month in line with the reduction in new businesses.
Expectations for Business Activities for the next three months improved in February amid increase in tourist arrivals, upcoming festive season and expectations on greater economic stability. Nevertheless, some respondents expressed their concerns over shrinking margins in line with high taxes and electricity tariff and subdued demand due to decline in disposable income. (CBSL)
Women led LPO services firm Velox Partners enters new office space in Colombo
Velox Partners, a tech-based legal process outsourcing (LPO) firm, expanded its presence into Colombo to augment its existing law firm. Velox commenced operations in January 2020 prior to the onset of the pandemic. Today, it has expanded its services across numerous verticals Commercial law, Litigation, Conveyancing and Company Secretarial Services, with Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) Services being the core. It is geared as a fully-fledged legal service provider servicing clients across United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore and Southeast Asia.
Velox is female-led with over 90% being women comprising versatile and experienced lawyers. Their expertise bridges multiple disciplines of law with a local and global clientele. The two powerhouses leading the firm are its founding partners Lihini Fernando and Dakshika Perera whose collective experience spans over three decades.
Velox Partners saw Covid-19 restrictions and remote working as an opportunity to position the firm as a tech-based entity and launched its LPO arm. Providing back office legal services to law firms across continents was seen as a viable business model that is both functional and lucrative. Furthermore, the partners of Velox realized the potential of positioning Sri Lanka as a LPO Hub, where the LPO sector enables foreign remittance to the island nation to rebuild its economy. This also provided an opportunity particularly as LPO services can be offered remotely, without a physical office presence.
Velox has serviced clients in over 14 jurisdictions worldwide providing solutions on the ethos, ‘Beyond Legal’. Velox believes in combining business efficiency and tech enabled processes to differentiate itself from the conventional law firms.
Lawyers at Velox are solution providers guided by industry expertise. The team comprises professionals based in Australia, the United States of America, Singapore, and Sri Lanka which enables them to draw cross country perspectives in providing services. Velox is now poised to use their multiple years of experience across continents to provide smart legal solutions.
Estonian TV crew gets a taste of Sri Lanka for the first time
Sri Lanka Tourism, under its Scandinavian market promotions hosted a Media FAM with 4 Media personnel from Kanal2 TV from Estonia. The tour started off on February 28 and ended on March 8. The purpose of hosting this tour was to receive more high-end tourist arrivals from Estonia, as well as the other Scandinavian markets including Lithuania and Latvia.
Subsequently, this tour was hosted in collaboration with the Sri Lanka embassy in Sweden which contributed to make this tour a success. The FAM Tour covered all the main tourist attractions in Sri Lanka, including wild life, Ayurveda, Boutique hotels, and also cultural attractions.
All these attractions were filmed and the destination will be promoted on air via Kanal2 TV, through the TV show ‘’ Kaugele Siit’’ (far from here). The first episode of this programme is scheduled to be telecast for 45 minutes. This travel programme has 420,000 followers as their audience. Kanal2 TV was also the official Media partner for the Winter Olympics 2018, a Sri Lanka Tourism press release said.
The release adds: ‘The visitors were quite impressed with the 8-day tour which they had, enjoying every moment of their tour. They were equally mesmerized with the warm hospitality which they received from the Sri Lankans, which they are mostly renowned for. They enjoyed the traditional Sri Lankan cuisine, and the variety of dishes which they tasted. Nevertheless, they had the opportunity of exploring every attraction of the paradise island to convey the message to their fellow Estonians, that Sri Lanka is a unique travel destination which has everything in store for the enthusiastic traveler.
‘They also had a cooking demonstration by courtesy of Siddhalepa Ayurveda Resorts & Spas Wadduwa, and also a Yoga treat at the same venue. Visiting the Turtle Hatchery at Kosgoda , the Elephant orphanage at Pinnawala, going through a safari at Eco park was also another amazing experience which they had during their stay.’
The Academy of International Business signs Memorandum of Understanding with the University of the Pacific
Academy of International Business Sri Lanka (AIB) held its second graduation at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall with over fifty graduates successfully passing out. At the recent graduation, the business academy signed its MOU with the University of the Pacific.
The signing of the MOU is a major milestone for the business academy. The courses offered are DBA, MBA, and BBA top-up programs through AIB. Prof Liam, Rector – of the University of Pacific, expressed confidence that the program delivered by AIB will be very beneficial.
The event was graced by passed graduates, teachers, and lecturers, the ceremony was hosted by the chief guest and the regional director of ABE(UK) Dr Praveen Mahendran. “The ABE(UK) is one of the long-standing professional awarding bodies from the UK and AIB is proud to be associated with ABE and approved by the awarding body.
Hard work, competency and capability are the values that produce results, through the AIB and its programs these are achievable. Every student is encouraged to show their full potential”.
The distinguished guests were the Vice President of the BNI Pioneer Chapter, Dilan Fonseka. He emphasized, the importance of students gaining experience in entrepreneurial skills and business development by enrolling at BNI. AIB is a member of BNI, which creates multiple opportunities.
About the Academy of International Business: AIB is recognized for its management programs, digital marketing, marketing, and English language programs such as IELTS, and PTE. It’s widely popular among students in search of pursuing business and management courses.The Director of AIB Sri Lanka, Chrishankar Janathanan, expressed the institute’s commitment to providing the best quality education. It’s not only a center that is simply cornered to the education sector but also has focused its efforts on recruitment services and digital agency services.
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