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Sri Lanka 2021 first quarter growth would be better than expected: CB Governor

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Sri Lanka’s first quarter growth would be better than expected, based on initial data Central Bank Governor W D Lakshman said.

He said an industrial production index, private credit and external trade showed the economy was performing better than earlier expected.

Director of Economic Research Chandranath Amarasinghe said originally about 3 to 3.5 percent growth was expected.

Official growth estimates are expected to be released in on Friday, he said.

Sri Lanka was initially expecting to grow around 6 percent in the year full year 2020, but in May a Coronavirus lockdown had slowed some activities.

“Now believe it will be about 5 percent,” he said.

He said there may be double digit growth in the second quarter. There was a steep contraction in 2020.

Governor Lakshman said with Coronavirus vaccination picking up pace economic activity would improve later in the year and would become stronger from next year.

He said there was no demand driven inflation due to ‘subdued’ aggregate demand.

He said foreign reserves are maintained around 4 billion US dollar in June the same level as May and he expected reserves to get better

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