By Mario Andree
Sri Lanka’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew at 4.3 per cent during the first quarter of this year, according to the Department of Census and Statistics, which said the economy reached Rs 2.393 trillion from Rs 2.295 trillion a year ago.
During the first quarter of last year the Sri Lanka economy contracted 1.6 per cent. According to the Department, Agriculture posted a growth of 6.1 per cent during the first quarter of this year, while the Industrial sector grew at 5.5 per cent and the Services sector at three per cent.
During the same quarter of last year, the industrial sector contracted 7.85 per cent and Agricultural sector contracted 6.24 per cent. However, the services sector posted a growth of 3.5 per cent. The four major components of the economy, Agriculture, Industry, Services and Taxes less Subsidies on products have contributed their shares to the GDP at current price by 7.8 per cent, 29.2 per cent, 57.4 per cent and 5.7 per cent respectively during the first quarter of this year.
Sri Lanka’s gross national income (GNI) grew 4.9 per cent to Rs 2.33 trillion during the first quarter from Rs 2.22 trillion a year ago. The Sri Lankan economy in 2020 posted a contraction of 3.6 per cent making it the worst year in the country’s history. According to the State statistics office, Sri Lanka’s gross domestic product (GDP) reached Rs 9.53 trillion in 2020, down 3.6 per cent from Rs 9.88 trillion recorded in 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic, that worsened the effects of the tragic Easter Sunday incident, is expected to cost the country, with many sectors, mainly the tourism, being affected heavily.
However, the Central Bank is hoping that the Sri Lankan economy would grow at five per cent this year despite of the recent lockdowns imposed to curb the third wave of the pandemic. According to a World Bank report, the Sri Lankan economy would grow at 3.4 per cent this year, followed by two per cent in 2020 and 2.1 per cent in 2023.