Sri Lanka



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Sri Lanka Economy 2008


Economy - overview: In 1977, Colombo abandoned statist economic policies and its import substitution trade policy for more market-oriented policies, export-oriented trade, and encouragement of foreign investment. Recent changes in government, however, have brought some policy reversals. Currently, the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party has a more statist economic approach, which seeks to reduce poverty by steering investment to disadvantaged areas, developing small and medium enterprises, promoting agriculture, and expanding the already enormous civil service. The government has halted privatizations. Although suffering a brutal civil war that began in 1983, Sri Lanka saw GDP growth average 4.5% in the last 10 years with the exception of a recession in 2001. In late December 2004, a major tsunami took about 31,000 lives, left more than 6,300 missing and 443,000 displaced, and destroyed an estimated $1.5 billion worth of property. Government spending and reconstruction drove growth to more than 7% in 2006 but reduced agriculture output probably slowed growth to about 6 percent in 2007. Government spending and loose monetary policy drove inflation to nearly 16% in 2007. Sri Lanka's most dynamic sectors now are food processing, textiles and apparel, food and beverages, port construction, telecommunications, and insurance and banking. In 2006, plantation crops made up only about 15% of exports (compared with more than 90% in 1970), while textiles and garments accounted for more than 60%. About 800,000 Sri Lankans work abroad, 90% of them in the Middle East. They send home more than $1 billion a year. The struggle by the Tamil Tigers of the north and east for an independent homeland continues to cast a shadow over the economy.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $82.02 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $30.01 billion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 6.8% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $4,000 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 11.7% industry: 29.9% services: 58.4% (2007 est.)
Labor force: 7.489 million (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 34.3% industry: 25.3% services: 40.4% (30 June 2006 est.)
Unemployment rate: 6% (2007 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 1.1% highest 10%: 39.7% (FY03/04)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 50 (FY03/04)
Investment (gross fixed): 24.7% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget: revenues: $5.384 billion expenditures: $7.608 billion (2007 est.)
Public debt: 85.8% of GDP (2007 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 15.8% (2007 est.)
Central bank discount rate: 15% (31 December 2007)
Commercial bank prime lending rate: 17.08% (31 December 2007)
Stock of money: $2.465 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of quasi money: $10.46 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of domestic credit: $14.82 billion (31 December 2007)
Agriculture - products: rice, sugarcane, grains, pulses, oilseed, spices, tea, rubber, coconuts; milk, eggs, hides, beef; fish
Industries: processing of rubber, tea, coconuts, tobacco and other agricultural commodities; telecommunications, insurance, banking; clothing, textiles; cement, petroleum refining
Industrial production growth rate: 7.6% (2007 est.)
Electricity - production: 8.317 billion kWh (2006 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 6.884 billion kWh (2006 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2007 est.)
Oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption: 86,030 bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil - exports: 291.9 bbl/day (2005)
Oil - imports: 87,090 bbl/day (2005)
Oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2007 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance: -$1.019 billion (2007 est.)
Exports: $8.135 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities: textiles and apparel, tea and spices; diamonds, emeralds, rubies; coconut products, rubber manufactures, fish
Exports - partners: US 25.5%, UK 13.2%, India 6.7%, Germany 5.7%, Italy 5.1% (2007)
Imports: $10.36 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities: textile fabrics, mineral products, petroleum, foodstuffs, machinery and transportation equipment
Imports - partners: India 23.1%, Singapore 9.9%, China 8.2%, Iran 7.5%, Hong Kong 6.4% (2007)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $3.644 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external: $12.2 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $NA
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $NA
Market value of publicly traded shares: $7.769 billion (2006)
Currency (code): Sri Lankan rupee (LKR)
Exchange rates: Sri Lankan rupees (LKR) per US dollar - 110.78 (2007), 103.99 (2006), 100.498 (2005), 101.194 (2004), 96.521 (2003)

NOTE: The economy information regarding Sri Lanka on this page is re-published from the 2008 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Sri Lanka Economy 2008 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Sri Lanka Economy 2008 should be addressed to the CIA.