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Sri Lanka to delay second quarter GDP data to December amid Coronavirus

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s statistics office has said it would not release second quarter gross domestic product data until December 2020, pending discussions with “international consultants the methods of estimating the output value of certain industry and services activities.”

Sri Lanka delayed the release of first quarter data, where output was down 1.6 percent with about a 10 days of lockdown and gradually decreasing economic activity from early March.

By April almost a complete lockdown was in effect.

“While it is obvious that many economic activities were crippled during that time, there have been instances where some other economic activities have taken place in a different way than usual,” Sri Lanka’s Census and Statistics office said in a statement posted on its website which is currently off line.

“Some economic activities were also encouraged by Covid-19. In this context, it is imperative to discuss with international consultants the methods of estimating the output value of certain industry and services activities.

“It was also decided to collect data on some of the above economic activities from other sources.

“We kindly inform you that we have decided to publish the above estimates along with the GDP estimates for the third quarter of 2020 on 15.12.2020 as it will take a considerable amount of time for that work and to ensure the accuracy of the estimates that will be published.”

However larger countries that Sri Lanka had released second quarter GDP. India said GDP contracted 23 percent.

The statistics department had come under pressure to show a higher growth number after the release of the first quarter data. However GDP data are estimates which are consistent if the same methodology is used across time and countries. (Colombo/Oct18/2020)

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