Construction to lift Sri Lanka’s second growth

Sri Lanka’s economy is expected to have grown 5% in the second quarter, slightly faster than the previous three months, as a boom in construction activity after the December tsunami offset a slowdown in fisheries and tourism. Sri Lanka’s economy is expected to have grown 5% in the second quarter, slightly faster than the previous three months, as a boom in construction activity after the December tsunami offset a slowdown in fisheries and tourism. The average estimate of four economists polled by Dow Jones Newswires put second-quarter GDP growth at 5% from the same period a year earlier, compared with 4.8% in the first quarter. The forecasts ranged from 4.7% to 5.2%.

For the full year, the survey projects GDP growth of 5.2%, with a range from 5% to 5.5%. The official forecast for 2005 is between 5% and 5.5%, similar to last year’s actual growth of 5.4%.

The central bank is due to issue GDP data Sept. 30.

Much of the construction activity during the second quarter focussed on providing temporary shelters to nearly one million people displaced after the tsunami, said Hasitha Premeratne, head of research at HNB Stockbrokers.

The government has estimated the cost of reconstruction after the tsunami