Fourth quarter GDP growth plummets to 4.4% capping annual growth at 5.4 %

Sri Lanka’s economic growth in last quarter of 2004 plummeted to 4.4 percent, and annual GDP growth fell to 5.4 percent, compared to a revised GDP growth number for 2003 of 6 percent. Sri Lanka’s economic growth in last quarter of 2004 plummeted to 4.4 percent, and annual GDP growth fell to 5.4 percent, compared to a revised GDP growth number for 2003 of 6 percent. The first quarter started off with an impresses 6.4 per cent, but the momentum later fell to 5.4 percent for the second and third quarters.

Central Bank said industry and services recorded a 6 per cent growth in the fourth quarter but agriculture lagged behind.

However, a bank statements on the GDP numbers Thursday said growth for the year as a whole was consistent with the expected annual economic performance for 2004, though the deceleration in the fourth quarter raises concerns about the continued vulnerability of the economy, particularly the traditional agriculture sector, to weather conditions.

Reforms in the Agriculture sector consisting of productivity improvement efforts through high yielding seed varieties, application of modern technology and efficient utilisation of water are critical in achieving