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Early last year, the government had forecasted a 5.5 percent economic growth. The 5.9 percent year on growth for 2003, is the highest since 2000, when the economy expanded by 6.0 percent.rn

rnAfter contracting by 1.5 percent in 2001, the government is forecasting gross domestic product to touch 5.5 percent in 2004.rn

rnBut private sector economists and the Asian Development Bank have downgraded their forecast to 5.0 percent. A persistent drought, reliance on expensive thermal power, poor investor sentiment and the absence of political muscle to push key legislative reforms are largely to blame, analysts said.rn

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2002
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