Sri Lanka expects 7.7% GDP in 2Q06; plays host to Commonwealth Ministers parley this week

Sept 11, 2006 – (LBO) Sri Lanka’s recent economic growth performance fits well with the underlying theme of the upcoming Commonwealth Finance Ministers’ meeting, a top official said. “We have had economic growth of 8.1 percent in the first quarter and 7.7 percent is expected in the second quarter,” Deputy Governor of Sri Lanka’s Central Bank Ranee Jayamaha said.

“Our economic fundamentals have been getting stronger as the government gives effect to policies that promote growth.”

With the theme of An Agenda for Growth and Livelihoods, this year’s meeting has growth and job creation as the underlying focus.

Sri Lanka’s unemployment has fallen to 7.0 percent, but poverty remains high, with about a quarter of the households earning less than a dollar a day, which some economists have blamed on the high inflation that undermine the living standards of low income groups.

Finance ministers from 40 countries have confirmed their attendance at Tuesdays Commonwealth Finance Ministers’ meeting in Colombo and at least four prime ministers are expected, officials said.

But Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, who is engaged in a political battle at