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SL’s economy grows by 4% in nine months

Sri Lanka’s economy has achieved a growth rate of a mere 4% during the first nine months of this year helped by a 3.1% growth in industry sector and a faster 6% rise in services sector but the country’s agricultural sector witnessed a disappointing 2.3% decline during the period, recent official statistics showed.

According to the National Accounts Estimates of Sri Lanka for the third Quarter of 2016 released by Department of Census and Statistics on Thursday, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for Sri Lanka for the third quarter of 2016 (July, August, September) recorded an overall improvement of 4.1% compared to the corresponding quarter of 2015.

During the recent quarter, while the industry and services sectors grew by 6.8% Year-on-Year and 4.7% Year-on-Year respectively, the country’s agricultural sector however was estimated to have declined by 1.9% YoY.

"The four major components of the economy; Agriculture, Industry, Services and Taxes less subsidies on products have contributed their share to the GDP at current price by 7.6 percent, 30.5 percent, 56.0 percent and 5.9 percent respectively in the third quarter of 2016," Acting Director General at the Department of Census and Statistics, D G S G Munasinghe said commenting on the quarterly statistics.

Among the sub activities of Agriculture, the value added of ‘Growing of tea’, ‘Growing of rice’, ‘Growing of rubber’, ‘Growing of spices’ and ‘Growing of vegetables’ declined and reported negative growth rates of 20.4 percent, 20.0 percent, 17.8 percent, 9.0 percent and 7.2 percent respectively during this quarter, when compared to the same quarter in the previous year.

On the other hand, ‘forestry and logging’ and ‘fresh water fishing’ grew significantly by 30.0 percent and 20.8 percent respectively during the third quarter of 2016. ‘Marine fishing’ and ‘animal production’ also reported 7.4 percent and 6.9 percent growth rates for the third quarter of 2016, while the ‘Growing of fruits’ and ‘Growing of oleaginous fruits; including Coconut’ have shown only a slight increase in growth rates by 1.3 percent, and 0.1 percent respectively.

Meanwhile, the industrial activities which shared the GDP by 30.5 percent at current price, expanded by 6.8 percent with ‘Construction’ activity, which corresponds to a higher share of the industrial activities, increasing by 14.4 percent during the quarter. Manufacturing activities grew by 2.7 percent while service activities which gave the highest contribution of 56.0 percent to the overall GDP growth, recorded a positive growth rate of 4.7 percent, Acting Director General Munasinghe said.

The performance of the Services sector was underpinned specially by the sub activities of ‘Financial service activities’, ‘Insurance activities’, ‘Telecommunication’, ‘Education service’ and ‘Wholesale and retail trade’ which reported significantly higher growth rates of 12.9 percent, 12.3 percent, 11.7 percent, 10.2 percent and 4.6 percent respectively compared to the respective quarter in year 2015.

Issuing a communique on releasing 3rd quarter National Accounts, DCS stated that a detailed report on the National Accounts estimates for the third quarter of 2016 have been published in the DCS website
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