Sri Lanka logs 8.0% growth Jan-Sept: Treasury Secretary

October 3, 2006 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s economy has beaten most forecasts to lodge a ‘near’ 8.0 percent growth for the first nine months, the secretary of the island’s finance ministry said, with robust performance driven by strong services, manufacturing, construction and agriculture numbers. Central Bank’s statistics director Anila Dias Bandaranaike last week warned that: “If the security situation does not get better, it disrupts vital areas like transport, food distribution, that also has an impact on inflation.” Treasury Secretary P B Jayasundara announced the 9-month growth numbers, a week after two state agencies – the Central Bank and the Census & Statistics Dept – came out with slightly different figures for the country’s six months national accounts.

The Central Bank said the economy expanded by 8.0 percent for the six months of this year, while the Census & Statistics Dept announced it was 7.1 percent.

Central Bank governor Nivard Cabraal said recently that the country was heading for an 8.0 percent growth next year, the best in 28 years, when the economy expanded by 8.2 percent.

“Whatever the skeptics say, that the economy has grown off a low base due to the tsunami, does not matter now, because all sectors of the economy have done well with GDP (gross domestic p