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Travel & Tourism . Tourist Guide to the Country

Sri Lanka Economy

Sri Lanka    Economy Top of Page
Economy - overview: In 1977, Colombo abandoned statist economic policies and its import substitution trade policy for market-oriented policies and export-oriented trade. Sri Lanka's most dynamic sectors now are food processing, textiles and apparel, food and beverages, telecommunications, and insurance and banking. By 1996 plantation crops made up only 20% of exports (compared with 93% in 1970), while textiles and garments accounted for 63%. GDP grew at an annual average rate of 5.5% throughout the 1990s until a drought and a deteriorating security situation lowered growth to 3.8% in 1996. The economy rebounded in 1997-98 with growth of 6.4% and 4.7% - but slowed to 4.3% in 1999. Growth increased to 5.6% in 2000, with growth in tourism and exports leading the way. But a resurgence of civil war between the Sinhalese and the minority Tamils and a possible slowdown in tourism dampen prospects for 2001. For the next round of reforms, the central bank of Sri Lanka recommends that Colombo expand market mechanisms in nonplantation agriculture, dismantle the government's monopoly on wheat imports, and promote more competition in the financial sector.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $62.7 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 5.6% (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $3,250 (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture:  21%

industry:  19%

services:  60% (1998)
Population below poverty line: 22% (1997 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%:  1.8%

highest 10%:  39.7% (1995-96 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 8.5% (2000 est.)
Labor force: 6.6 million (1998)
Labor force - by occupation: services 45%, agriculture 38%, industry 17% (1998 est.)
Unemployment rate: 8.8% (1999 est.)
Budget: revenues:  $3 billion

expenditures:  $3 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)
Industries: processing of rubber, tea, coconuts, and other agricultural commodities; clothing, cement, petroleum refining, textiles, tobacco
Industrial production growth rate: 4% (1999)
Electricity - production: 6.026 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel:  29.9%

hydro:  70.1%

nuclear:  0%

other:  0% (1999)
Electricity - consumption: 5.604 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1999)
Agriculture - products: rice, sugarcane, grains, pulses, oilseed, spices, tea, rubber, coconuts; milk, eggs, hides, beef
Exports: $5.2 billion (f.o.b., 2000)
Exports - commodities: textiles and apparel, tea, diamonds, coconut products, petroleum products
Exports - partners: US 39%, UK 13%, Middle East 8%, Germany 5%, Japan 4% (1999)
Imports: $6.1 billion (f.o.b., 2000)
Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, textiles, petroleum, foodstuffs
Imports - partners: Japan 10%, India 9%, Hong Kong 8%, Singapore 8%, South Korea 6% (1999)
Debt - external: $9.9 billion (2000)
Economic aid - recipient: $577 million (1998)
Currency: Sri Lankan rupee (LKR)
Currency code: LKR
Exchange rates: Sri Lankan rupees per US dollar - 83.506 (January 2001), 77.005 (2000), 70.635 (1999), 64.450 (1998), 58.995 (1997), 55.271 (1996)
Fiscal year: calendar year


Countryfacts Information Courtesy: CIA Worldbook

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