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Sri Lanka may grow 4.5 percent in 2017, deficit 5.0-pct: CB Governor

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s economic growth may be around 4.0 to 4.5 percent of gross domestic product in 2017, with higher growth in the second half, Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy said.

In the first half growth slowed to 3.5 percent, with a drought slowing agriculture.

Governor Coomaraswamy said exports from GSP+ trade concessions will contribute in the fourth quarter.

Rains have also started which may help agricultures.

"Overall there will be some pick up," he said. "Overall growth will be between 4.0 and 4.5 percent (of GDP)".

Sri Lanka budget deficit may overshoot the target of 4.6 percent to reach 5.0 percent, due to drought related spending, he said.

Sri Lanka’s budget deficit last year was 5.4 percent and a 5.0 percent gap would also be an improvement.

The government has raised value added taxes and there has been no salary hike this year.

Coomaraswamy said a new inland revenue law will bring in more direct taxes from next year and it was important to keep fiscal consolidation on track. (Colombo/Sept26/2017)





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