Sri Lanka economy expands 6.3 pct in third quarter: statistics office

Dec 16, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s economy expanded 6.3 percent in the third quarter of 2008 over the same quarter the previous year, and against 7.0 in the second quarter of this year, the governments statistics office said. Services grew by 5.5 percent, industry 5.6 percent and agriculture by 12.4 percent, statistics director Suranjana Vidyaratne said.

Vidyaratne said Sri Lanka’s economy was not much affected by global turmoil as the slowdown in advanced economies only began to bite in the last two weeks of the third quarter.

The ‘Yala” agricultural season showed record growth in rice production, head of the national accounts division of the statistic office Nalini Kumarasinghe said.

Land area was 60 percent up, and production up by 50 percent, she said.

Rubber production was up and delayed monsoons had also increased tapping days allowing production to go up, Kumarasinghe said.

The industry sub-sector grew by 5.6 percent in the third quarter compared with a growth of 7.5 percent in the same period last year.

Within the industry sub-sector, power and water contracted by 0.6 percent compared with a growth of 5.2 percent in the third quarter a year ago.

Electricity grew by 1.9 percent whi