Sri Lanka economy grew 8.0-pct in 2010

The Department of Census Statistics said the agriculture sector grew 7.0 percent in 2010, industry at 8.4 percent and services at 8.0 percent.

The share of agriculture in GDP was 11.9 percent, that of industry 28.8 percent and services 59.3 percent.

The department said growth of the industry and services sectors was the highest-ever since 2002.

The tea sector grew 13.1 percent in 2010, rubber 12.7 percent and minor export crops 37.6 percent.

The paddy sector grew 17.5 percent, fishing 12.2 percent, mining and quarrying 15.5 percent and construction 9.3 percent.

The paddy sector growth came after a contraction of 5.1 percent in 2009.

The gross extent sown and gross extent harvested increased by 9.0 percent and 12.5 percent in 2010 over the previous year.

It attributed the recovery to higher paddy prices, adequate water supply, resumption of cultivation in paddy fields, especially in Northern and Eastern Provinces after the end of the ethnic war.

“Pro-agricultural policies such as the fertilizer subsidy and guaranteed paddy prices were the major driving forces for the growth of paddy production.”

The hotels and restaurant sub-sector had the highest growth among sub-sectors, up 39.8 percent in 2010 from the previous year as tourism boomed after the end of the island;’s 30-year ethnic war.

The electricity, gas and water sector grew 7.8 percent, wholesale retail trade 7.5 percent, transport communications 11.9 percent, and banking, insurance and real estate 7.5 percent.

“However, the growth of the coconut sub sector dropped by 14.3 percent in 2010 as against previous year,” the department said, as crops were affected by the lagged effects of drought.

“The value addition of coconut production showed a 14.3 percent decrease in 2010 although it grew by 5.3 percent in the previous year,” it said.

“Low rainfall in 2009, onset of pest and outbreak of diseases and low humidity in major coconut cultivating areas were identified as root causes for the decline.”

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