June 20 (Daily FT) – An across-the-board expansion in Agriculture, Industries and Services propelled first quarter growth in 2019 to 3.7% in the first quarter of 2019, the Census and Statistics Department said yesterday with the strongest showing of 5.5% growth posted by agriculture.
Issuing a communique on releasing National Accounts Estimates for the first quarter of 2019, DCS states that the economic growth rate of the country is estimated as 3.7% for the first quarter of 2019.
The Gross Domestic Product at constant prices for the first quarter of 2019,was recorded as Rs.2,326,273 million, and GOP reported for the first quarter of 2018 was Rs.2,242,552 million. Growth in the fourth quarter of 2018 was just 1.8% following the Constitutional crisis.
The four major components of the economy viz. Agriculture, Industry, Services and Taxes, have contributed their shares to the GOP at current price by 6.9%, 31.6%, 53.9% and 7.7%, respectively, in this quarter.
The agricultural activities further expanded favourably by 5.5% compared to the expansion of 5.1% recorded in the first quarter of 2018. The industrial activities expanded satisfactorily by 3% in the first quarter of2019 compared to the 1.7% recorded in the first quarter of 2018. Service activities reported further expansion of 4.1% during the first quarter of 2019, compared to the first quarter of 2018.
Among the sub-activities of Agriculture, ‘Growing of rice’ has expanded by 13.1% in this quarter compared to the first quarter of 2018. ‘Growing of Oleaginous fruits including coconut’ achieved an outstanding growth rate of 35.6% in this quarter compared to the recorded negative growth rate of 15.7% in the first quarter 2018. Meanwhile’ Animal production’, ‘Growing of fruits’, ‘Plant propagation activities and support servicesto agriculture’, and ‘ Growing of vegetables’ recorded substantial growth rates of 9.4%, 8.1%, 6.9%, and 4.7%, respectively, in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the first quarter of 2018.
The sub-activities of ‘Growing of cereals, ‘Marine fishing’, and ‘Growing of tea’ showed contractions of 12.9%, 2%, and 1.7%, respectively, within the first quarter of2019.
In industrial activities, the sub-activities of ‘Construction’ and ‘Mining and quarrying’ grew by 6.9% and 5.8%, respectively. Within the Manufacturing activities, ‘ Manufacturing of coke and refined petroleum products’ reported a considerable expansion of 94.8%, while ‘Manufacture of furniture’, ‘Manufacture of food beverages and tobacco products’, ‘Manufacture of textile, wearing apparels, and leather products’, and ‘Manufacture of rubber and plastic products’ reported expansions of 5.7%, 2.3%, 1.9%, and 1.6%, respectively, within the first quarter of 2019.
Meanwhile ‘Manufacture of wood and wood products’, ‘Manufacture of paper products, printing, and reproduction of media products’, and ‘Manufacture of basic metals and fabricated metals’ reported considerable contractions of 23%, 11.2%, and 10.5%, respectively, within this quarter compared to the first quarter of 2018. The two activities, ‘Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply’ and ‘Water collection, treatment and supply’ expanded by 0.6% and 6.4%, respectively, in this quarter.
Among the service activities, ‘Telecommunication’ and ‘IT programming consultations and related activities’ achieved considerably high growth rates of 15.1% and 11.7%, respectively, in the first quarter of2019. Meanwhile ‘Financial service activities’, ‘Programming and broadcasting activities,’ ‘Insurance reinsurance and pension funding activities’, ‘Other personal services’, ‘Accommodation, and food and beverages services’, ‘Wholesale and trade’, and ‘Transportation of goods and passengers, including warehousing’ have expanded by 9.8%, 8.1%, 8%, 4.6%, 4.5%, 4.4 %, and 1.8%, respectively, in the first quarter of2019 compared to the first quarter of2018.
DCS stated that a detailed report on the National Accounts estimates for the first quarter of 2019 has been published on the DCS website: www.statistics.gov.lk