The economy had grown by 7.9% in the first quarter of this year according to data released by the Census and Statistics Department.
The overall growth of 7.9% (as against 7.1% in the corresponding of last year) had been possible despite 5.1% contraction in the agriculture due to floods and other factors in the 2011 first quarter.
The industry sector had been robust with an 11.1% growth, highest first quarter growth in a decade whilst the services sector grew by 9.5%. In the first quarter of last year, agriculture grew by 9.1%, industry by 6.9% and services by 6.7%.
Last year Sri Lanka’s economy grew by an impressive 8%, reflecting a fast recovery from the setback suffered in 2009 and moved to a high and sustainable growth path.
This far exceeds the average annual growth of 4.9 per cent recorded since the liberalisation of the economy in 1977. The Agriculture sector grew by 7%, compared to 3.2% in 2009. The Industry sector grew by 8.4% and the Services sector grew by 8% in 2010.
The 7.9% growth in the first quarter of 2011 is on the back of 8.6% growth rate achieved in the fourth quarter 2010, which was the highest figure ever recorded in a quarterly GDP growth since 2002. The three major sectors of the economy namely, Agriculture, Industry, and Services registered significant growth rates as 6.3 percent, 8.9 percent and 8.8 percent respectively, in the Q4 of 2010 over the same quarter of previous year.