Sri Lanka economy expands 4.2-pct in 3Q: statistics office

Dec 18, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s economic growth slowed to 4.2 percent in the third quarter of 2009 from 6.3 percent a year earlier, but was up from 2.1 percent in the second quarter, the government’s statistics office said. “In economic terms we have had a V-shaped recovery,” said deputy statistics director Nalini Kumarasinghe.

“Peace is a key factor that drove the economy during this quarter. The stock market and hotels sector improved and investment sentiment improved during the quarter,” she told a news conference.

The agriculture sector contracted by 0.9 percent in the quarter from a year ago while industry expanded by 4.4 percent and services grew by 5.1 percent.

In the agriculture sector, tea, the island’s main export commodity, fell by 4.8 percent in the third quarter compared with the same period last year while rubber fell by 3.4 percent,

Kuramasinghe said tea and rubber exports were affected by weaker foreign demand owing to global recession.

But growth in other sectors not dependent on foreign demand, like fisheries and dairy farming, was above five percent in the third quarter of 2009 compared with a year ago.

The paddy sector contracted by 28.4 percent in the quarter compared w