Sri Lanka’s economy grew at an annual 6.4% in the first quarter of this year, the same pace it recorded in the last three months of 2014 and hovering at its slowest since the first quarter of 2013, the statistics office said on yesterday.
According to figures released by the Department of Census and Statistics key pillars of the economy, agriculture, industries and services sectors has shared the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at constant price (2002) by 10.9%, 32.7% and 56.3% respectively in the first quarter of 2015.
The growth rates for the 2015 first quarter for these three sectors were 0.7% (Agriculture), 6.5% (Industries) and 7.5% (Services).
The country’s economy slowed down in the fourth quarter of 2014 significantly from the growth in previous three months and for the year and recorded a growth rate of 7.4%. The Central Bank expects the economy to grow at 7.0% this year.
In the first quarter the ‘Agriculture, Livestock and Forestry’ sub sector grew slightly by 1.3% while ‘Fishing’ sub sector decreased by 3.8% in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the corresponding period.
Percentage growth in ‘Plantation development’ sector showed an increase of 2.1% in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the considerable drop of 7.4% reported in 2014first quarter.
The data showed that the factory industry sub sector in has grown up by 7% in the first quarter of 2015. The major contributors of factory industry, ‘Food beverages and tobacco’ and ‘Textile wearing apparels and leather products’ showed growth rates of 9.6%t and 10.4% respectively.
The percentage of hydro-power generation has increased by 83% and thermal power generation has decreased by 22% in the first quarter of 2015. Hence, the existed ratio of 26:74 hydro and thermal power generation in the first quarter of 2014 has changed to 45:55 in the first quarter of 2015.
The Service sector contributed the highest share of 56.3% to the GDP, recorded a 7.5% increase in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the 6.5% in the same period last year.
The main three pillars of the ‘Wholesale and retail trade sector’, ‘Export trade’, ‘Import trade’ and ‘Domestic trade’ have grown by 2.9%, 19% and 10.8% respectively.
According to the Balance of Payment (BoP) Statistics of Central Bank of Sri Lanka, export earnings has increased to Rs. 378,918 million in the first quarter of 2015, from Rs. 368,151 million in 2014, indicating a slight growth of 2.9%. Compared to the first quarter of 2014,agricultural exports dropped by 5.1% and industrial exports grew by 6.8%.
Courtesy: Daily Financial Times 16 June 2015