Despite global economic downturn:
GDp grows six percent
Despite the global economic downturn, Sri Lanka recorded an economic
growth rate of 6.0 percent in 2008, Executive Director Government
Department of Census and Statistics D. B. P. S. Vidayaratne told a press
conference in Colombo yesterday.
The national per capita income in US $ terms had risen from 1,034 in
2007 to 2,014 in 2008, she said. "During the first nine months of the
year 2008, the economic growth rate stood at 6.5 percent but the last
quarter of the year showed a decline remaining at 4.3 percent growth
"The decline of the growth rate in the latter part of 2008 was due to
the global economic recession that had affected our economy," she noted.
However the Government's proper fiscal and monetary policies and
incentives like the fertilizer subsidy to farmers, asweddumizing paddy
lands lying fallow over several years coupled with the rapid growth rate
recorded in the agriculture and fishery in the Eastern Province were the
main factors that contributed to the good macro-economic growth rate of
six percent, she said. The unemployment rate for the year excluding the
North and East was 5.2 percent and the number of unemployed persons was
estimated as 394,000 during the year, one of the lowest unemployment
rates recorded for decades.
The main reason for it was the unprecedented number of 130,000 people
being directly employed in agriculture, Vidayaratne said. The inflation
rate for 2008 was 16.3 percent during the year based on GAP implicit
price deflator as against that of 14.0 percent during the previous year,
"Sri Lanka could be taken as a unique example considering the output
features of indicators of economic performance in 2008.
"Few countries reported growth rates for the year under review but we
had achieved these gains while fighting a war against terrorism," a
report of the Census and Statistics Department said.