Sri Lanka economy grows 7.0-pct in second quarter

Sept 17, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s economy expanded 7.0 percent in the second quarter of 2008 against 6.4 percent in the second quarter last year, and 6.2 percent in the first quarter of this year with rains boosting farming and hydro power, officials said. But apparel industry grew only 0.1 percent. Officials say apparel industry growth has peaked.

Kumarasinghe says the apparel industry appeared to have peaked with skilled workers seeking employment overseas and tightening labour conditions.

Electricity sector has grown 7.1 percent with a 74 percent growth in hydro generated electricity.

Services grew with 6.9 percent with wholesale and retail trade growing 5.9 percent, transport 9.8 percent, banking and finance 7.8 percent. The government services grew 7.0 percent.

Telecommunications grew 23.2 percent (against 21.0 percent) buoyed by price discounts offered by mobile operators, Kumarasinghe said.

Ports and airport grew 10.1 percent (against 5.6 percent) in the second quarter. Transport grew 7.9 percent (against 7.0 percent last year).

Updated

In first six months of the year, the gross domestic product (GDP) had grown by 6.6 percent against 6.3 percent in the first six months of last year.

“The rainfall duri