Oil prices and political stability could crimp Sri Lanka’s economic growth

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe (2nd R) arrives to visit the site of a bomb attack at St. Anthony's Shrine in Kochchikade in Colombo on April 21, 2019. - A string of blasts ripped through high-end hotels and churches holding Easter services in Sri Lanka on April 21, killing at least 156 people, including 35 foreigners. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP) (Photo credit should read ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

Soaring oil prices and political instability could put the breaks on Sri Lanka’s economic performance this year, the country’s Central Bank said Thursday. Soaring oil prices and political instability could put the breaks on Sri Lanka’s economic performance this year, the country’s Central Bank said Thursday. “Macro stability as well as political stability would be crucial to achieve a higher growth this year,” Central Bank’s Director Statistics Dr. Anila Dias Bandaranaike told reporters.

The economy hit a rough patch during first quarter of this year, with growth slowing to 4.8 percent, as against 6.4 percent in 2004.

The bank blamed the poor performance on last Dec. 26 tsunami, which killed some 31,000 people and left million homeless along the southern, eastern and northern coastal belts of this island.

The tsunami also washed away gains in the tourism and fisheries sector, which fell by 40 percent and 77 percent respectively during the first quarter of this year.

“If not for the tsunami, we (Sri Lanka) could have achieved over six percent growth during the first quarter of this year,” she said.

The tsunami, however, is expected