Steady Run

From left: Dr. Fernando Im, Senior Country Economist for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, The World Bank, Hon. Eran Wickramaratne, State Minister, Ministry of Finance and Mass Media, Dr. W A Wijewardana, Former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Prof. Indralal de Silva, Former (Chair) of Demography, University of Colombo, Prof. Amala de Silva, Department of Economics, University of Colombo at the panel discussion on "Demographic Change in Sri Lanka" moderated by Dr. Ramani Gunatilaka, International Centre for Ethnic Studies.

The Central Bank, Wednesday, left growth projections of 5.5 percent for 2003 intact, but warned that key structural reforms had to go ahead to maintain the momentum.

ldblquote The downside is the slower implementation of structural reforms such as labour reforms, public administration and particularly infrastructure projects means we wont be able to sustain the growth we envisage
dblquote , Director Statistics, Central Bank, Anila Dias Bandaranaike said.rn

rnInflation is also expected to fall to about 5 to 6 percent in 2004 from the seven percent expected this year.rn

rnThird quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) clocked in a 5.6 percent growth, driven largely by the Services sector, contributing 79 percent to GDP growth.rn

rnThis is the fifth consecutive quarter the GDP has exceeded 5.5 percent, the Bank said.rn

rnBanking, finance, real estate and a surge in tourist arrivals have been key thrust areas, with the trend expected to continue into the fourth quarter.rn

rnldblquote Fee based ac