Sri Lanka western province economic dominance slips

July 10, 2008 (LBO) – The dominance of Sri Lanka’s Western province which housed the capital Colombo, in the country’s economic activity has fallen below 50 percent in 2007, the island’s central bank said. Using gross domestic product (GDP) data compiled by the government’s statistics office, Sri Lanka’s central bank said the share of Western province in the country’s GDP has fallen to 48.4 percent from 50.1 percent in 2006.

But before 2007, the Central Bank used its own GDP estimates.

When both numbers were published in parallel, the Central Bank’s GDP numbers showed about a 0.5 percent lower GDP which officials said was due to a higher weight in agriculture which tended to grow slowly and drag down totals.

The data structure of the Census Department on the other hand tended to show better growth numbers with a greater emphasis on other sectors. Services and manufacturing are among the fastest growing sectors in Sri Lanka.

When comparing GDP across years, this presented an ‘apples and oranges’ problem to users and no work has been done to reconcile the numbers.

The Central Bank said the GDP share of the Southern province 10.5 percent (up from 10.0 percent, North Western 9.6 per