Sri Lanka economy expands 6.2 percent in 2008 first quarter

June 30, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s economy expanded 6.2 percent in the first quarter of 2008, against 6.1 percent growth in the same period last year but slower than the 7.6 percent growth fourth quarter of 2007, government data showed.

The agriculture sector grew by 5.9 percent compared with a 0.5 percent growth in the first quarter of 2007, the government’s statistics office said.

Without fishing, the sector grew 6.0 percent compared with a negative growth of 1.4 percent in the same 2007 period.

The industrial sector grew by 6.0 percent in the first quarter of 2008 compared with a growth of 13.8 percent a year ago and the services sector expanded by 6.4 percent compared with 7.2 percent growth in the same 2007 period.

Most of the growth in the 2008 first quarter came from the services sector which contributed 60.1 percent, followed by industries which contributed 27.3 percent and agriculture which accounted for 12.6 percent.

In services, wholesale and retail trade grew 6.1 percent and transport and communications by 9.4 percent.

Banking, insurance and real estate grew by 5.7 percent and government services by 5.4 percent.

The agriculture sector, tea grew by 29.6 percent in the first quarter of 2008