Colombo: International market research company Nielsen expressed optimistic views on 2012 economic progress in Sri Lanka, noting that rapid growth and consumer spending would be seen. Nielsen, launching its 2012 Outlook this weekend, remarked upon the aggressively growing consumers who are moving towards lifestyle products that have now become essentials and engaging in impulse buying.

The company's Managing Director in Sri Lanka Shaheen Cader told a gathering at the report launch that companies should work to leverage the growth momentum.

“Sri Lanka is slightly different from the rest of the world in that we see more growth in 2012. There is an emergence of a savvy rural consumer that companies need to consider,” he said.

Other key points found by Nielsen include the large-scale buying of vehicles with over 50 percent of households owning at least one vehicle in Sri Lanka. However, Nielsen warned that consumers were moving more towards borrowing for their spending and saving levels are remaining static at 8 percent.

Inflation effects resulting in higher food prices remain the main concern moving forward into 2012 even though Sri Lanka has managed to maintain a rate of 7 percent on average this year.