Sri Lanka 1Q06 GDP over 7%

June 16, 2006 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s 24-billion dollar economy has expanded in excess of seven percent during the first quarter of this year, a senior government official said. “Economic growth has been very steady, growing at just over 7-percent for the first quarter of this year,” Secretary to the Policy Planning Ministry, Nivard Cabraal told businessmen late Thursday.

Economic expansion he said largely came from growth in the services, industrial agricultural sectors and the use of more hydro power generation.

The country also shipped more clothes, tea and leather products to overseas markets.

“The services sector is doing very well, particularly the telecommunications sector which is largely private sector driven,” he said.

Sri Lanka’s exports earnings for the four months to April rose 4.0-percent, while import bill surged 17.5 percent due to higher oil related costs, the Central Bank said last month.

However, the deficit was somewhat contained as Sri Lankans residing abroad sent home 221 million dollars – up 28 percent during the three-months to March.

Sri Lanka’s balance of payments (BOP) has recorded a 197 million dollar surplus for the