Sri Lanka GDP grew 7.1-pct in Q1, 2011

Chandi Dharmaratne

June 24, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s economy expanded 7.1 percent in the first quarter of the year compared with the same period a year ago helped by strong growth in tea, rubber, export crops and services, the Department of Census and Statistics said. The major reason for this growth was the increase in average price of rubber at Colombo auctions from 132.17 rupees a kilo in the first quarter of 2009 to 321.24 a kilo in the first quarter of 2010.

This indicates a 143.1 percent price increase in the first quarter of 2010 which resulted in progress made in maintenance of rubber estates and tapping activities, the statement said.

The construction sub sector grew 8.5 percent driven by new development projects underway.

The services sector grew 6.7 percent owing to
recovery of major sub-sectors such as wholesale and retail trade, hotels and restaurants, and transport, and communications.

However, the growth rate in the
same quarter of 2009 was as low as 1.0 percent. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Sri Lanka in the January-March quarter at constant (2002) prices is estimated at 643,539 million rupees as against 601,084 million in the first quarter of 2009.

Inflation rate was 6.6 percent in the first quarter of 2010 co