Business Times

Western, Southern province share of GDP drops in 2009

The Western and Southern provinces' share of the national economy is showing a slight reduction, says the Central Bank. The Western province share of GDP showed a slight drop in 2009, to 45.1% from 45.4% in 2008, with share of GDP owned by provinces like the North, East, North Western, North Central and Uva, expanding very marginally.

Meanwhile, the Southern Province showed the lowest growth rate of 5.9%, which is well below the national average of 9.4%. The Southern share of GDP also dropped marginally from 10.5% in 2008, to 10.2% last year. This allowed Wayamba (North Western province) to replace the South as the second largest contributor to national GDP with 10.3% of GDP in 2009 - up from 9.9% in 2008.

The war recovering Northern and Eastern provinces showed a sharp drop in growth rates last year, compared to 2008, but still showed the highest growth rate, due to the low base. In 2009, the North and East showed a 14.1% and 14.0% growth, compared to 33.4% and 32.9% in 2008. The North’s share of national GDP climbed by a snail’s space 0.1,% to 3.3 %, last year, from 3.2% in 2008. The East also showed a slow 0.2% growth in share of GDP to 5.8% from 5..6% in 2008.

“There was no significant expansion of the contribution of the Northern province to GDP as the impact of the improvement in consumer and investor confidence, in the aftermath of the civil war, will only be felt by the economy with a time lag,” said the Central Bank.

The government has already started a number of infrastructure programmes in the North and East, and road development has improved travel and transportation. With the re-opening of the A9 road, passenger transportation has already grown. This increasing mobility is expected to increase connectivity and economic activities.

The North Central and Uva provinces also recorded improvements, but contributions of these three provinces to total GDP is still below 6%. These two provinces accounted for 4.8% and 4.6 % of national GDP in 2009, compared to 4.7% and 4.5% in 2008. Meanwhile, the Central and Sabaragamuwa provinces’ share of GDP decreased in 2009. The Central and Sabaragamuwa provinces share of GDP dropped marginally to 9.6% and 6.3% in 2009 from 9.8% and 6.4% in 2008.

In 2009 the national GDP at current prices grew by 9.4%, and reached Rs.4,825 billion with a per capita income of Rs. 235,945 equivalent to US$ 2,053.

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