Sri Lanka to grow 7.0-pct in 2012: ADB

Apr 18, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka will grow 7.0 percent in 2012 with tighter monetary policy brought in to strengthen the exchange rate and cut inflation and will rebound to 8.0 percent in 2013 the Asian Development Bank said. ADB’s, Sri Lanka chief Rita O’ Sullivan said the administration’s emphasis on boosting infrastructure and skills was fully backed by its own strategy and Sri Lanka’s forecast growth at 7.0 percent was still among the highest in the world.

O’ Sullivan said ADB’s projects backed government efforts to bring forward lagging regions. It financed power transmission and distribution, water supply, sanitation and education.

“As monetary policy is tightening economic growth will moderate around 7.0 percent,” Tadateru Hayashi, senior country economist said.

“Although export growth may slow as European demand slows, we see that imports will also slow, because of government measures like, currency depreciation.”

Last year Sri Lanka grew at 8.3 percent and officials forecasts for 2012 was downgraded to 7.2 percent from an earlier 8.0 percent.

Inflation may be higher than last year, Hayashi said.

He said Sri Lanka’s current account deficit will narrow to 6.4 percent of gross domestic pr