Sri Lanka economy slows to 6.0-pct in 2008, 4Q 4.3-pct

Mar 16, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s economic growth slowed to 6.0 percent in 2008 from 6.8 percent a year ago, with growth in the fourth quarter slowing to 4.3 percent, the government’s statistics office said. “The impact of global turmoil coming from the external trade sector was the key reason for the slowdown,” director general of statistics Suranjana Vidyaratne said.

For the full year 2008 industry grew by 5.9 percent, services 5.6 percent and agriculture by 7.5 percent.

Nearly 55 percent of the growth came from the services sector,

Industry had brought in 28 percent of growth.

Percapita gross domestic product (GDP) which is total output per person rose to 2,014 US dollars from 1634 US dollars, head of the national accounts division of the statistics office Nalini Kumarasinghe said.

Fourth Quarter

In the third quarter of 2008 the economy grew by 6.3 percent, against 4.3 percent in the fourth quarter.

In the fourth quarter the agriculture sector slowed to 4.0 percent against 6.4 percent in 2007 with tea falling by 18.7 percent, and minor export crops by 16.3 percent.

But paddy production had increased 50.5 percent in the minor Yala season in 2008 with harv