GDP growth number an understatement - Governor | Sunday Observer

GDP growth number an understatement - Governor

The governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy last week suggested that Sri Lanka’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth number this year may be an understatement of the true picture as the Department of Census and Statistics (DCS) which compiles the statistics lacks resources to undertake sufficient surveys under the new updated framework for calculating GDP.

“The DCS has done extremely well in introducing a new updated framework for calculating the Gross Domestic Product figures, a welcome development. However, for that to work well, you need a lot of data by undertaking surveys. At present, they don’t have the resources to back up the framework,” the governor said. He pointed out that as the DCS does not undertake all the surveys they need, they have been forced to make use of proxies for certain economic sub sectors which are not captured in all the economic activities.

“This is something that we are concerned about and are working on,” Coomaraswamy said.

According to the provisional estimates of the DCS - the national statistical office responsible for the collection and dissemination of statistical data needs of the government and other data users, Sri Lanka’s GDP grew by 3.3%, year-on-year, in the third quarter of 2017, compared to 4% recorded in the second quarter of 2017. The Central Bank thus expects Sri Lanka’s economic growth this year to be slightly below 4%.

“Although near term growth prospects remain subdued, it is anticipated that the economy would recover in 2018 due to a continuous surge in exports and investments induced by foreign direct investments. The recovery in the Agriculture sector would also support the growth performance in 2018,” the Central Bank said in a statement. It said Sri Lanka’s economic growth in the third quarter was mainly driven by the moderate expansion in the Industry and Services sectors, while the Agriculture sector continued to record negative growth on account of weather related disruptions.