June 17, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is expecting 7.5 percent growth this year despite a slowdown in exports, and adverse weather hitting fisheries, Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said. The hotel sector as doing well and lots of investments were taking place, he said in addition to other areas like remittances, which were also doing well.
Higher rainfall, which reduces energy produced from imported oil, adds to domestic value addition or gross domestic product.
The Central Bank has cut its policy rate by 50 basis points April.
The monetary authority has indicated that it would like banks to boost lending and also asked banks to cut credit card interest rates, a somewhat controversial move according to some analysts, as credit card interest rates are essentially penal rates for not paying on time.
Most Central Banks in the world no longer regulates rates. Cabraal said gross domestic growth in the first quarter is expected to be close to 6.0 percent.
“If we have that number our 7.5 percent number could be reached,” Cabraal told foreign correspondents in Colombo.
“That was the highest base (quarter) in the previous year. So if we have six or close to six pe