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Tuesday, June 19 , 2012 - 5.54 GMT
Economy grows 7.9 percent in first quarter of 2012


The Sri Lankan economy has expanded by a steady growth rate of 7.9 percent during the first quarter of this year, from the same period a year earlier, data released by the Department of Census and Statistics showed.

The economy has remained resilient to the external pressures of rising fuel prices earlier in the year and a turbulent global economy with industrial and services sectors contributing heavily to the economic growth.

The gross domestic product (GDP) has only marginally declined in the first three months of 2012 from an 8.0 percent in first quarter of 2011.

However, the main industrial sector, which includes textiles and garments, construction and manufacturing, grew 10.8 percent in the first quarter of 2012, compared to 11.1 percent recorded in the same quarter of previous year.

The 5.8 percent growth in services sector, which includes tourism, telecommunications, ports and transport, this year was lower than the 9.5 percent recorded in the first quarter of 2011.

Agriculture sector rebounded with an impressive 11.3 percent growth in the first quarter of 2012 compared to the reduction of 4.3 percent in growth in the same period last year.

Sri Lanka has recorded an impressive 8.3 percent economic growth for the year 2011. However, the Central Bank lowered the projected growth to 7.2 percent this year due to the rising global fuel prices.

The Central Bank says the strong growth momentum of the economy last year is estimated to have continued into the first quarter of 2012 supported by all three major sectors.

"As a result, although growth is expected to gradually moderate from the second quarter onwards, it is expected that the previously estimated 7.2 percent growth for the year 2012 would be achieved," the Central bank said in its monetary policy review for the month of June.






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Last modified: June 19, 2012.

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