Sri Lanka Economic Forecast

Sri Lanka Economic Outlook

February 19, 2019

The country is recovering in the first quarter from the recent constitutional crisis, which likely dented growth in Q4 2018. Notably, the rupee appreciated against the dollar in recent weeks while tourism data suggests a rebound in hotel occupancy and bookings in January after a weak December. However, the government is scrambling to buffer its foreign reserves in order to meet repayment obligations of USD 5.9 billion of debt this year, USD 2.6 billion of which is due this quarter. On 15 February, an IMF delegation visited Colombo to discuss resuming its USD 1.5 billion loan program, while Central Bank officials are reportedly in talks with their Indian and Chinese counterparts to secure currency swaps and loans worth USD 1.5 billion each.

Sri Lanka Economic Growth

Though political instability is ebbing, low foreign reserves and persistent current account and fiscal deficits remain key weaknesses. Met the why particular panelists expect growth of 3.8% in 2019, down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast, and 4.0% in 2020.

Sri Lanka Economy Data

Population (million)20.620.821.021.221.4
GDP per capita (USD)3,6093,8203,8393,8424,063
GDP (USD bn)74.379.380.581.587.1
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)
Consumption (annual variation in %)
Investment (annual variation in %)-8.811.53.827.117.2
Industrial Production (annual variation in %)-
Unemployment Rate4.
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)-5.2-6.2-7.0-5.4-5.5
Public Debt (% of GDP)71.872.278.579.679.4
Money (annual variation in %)
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)
Policy Interest Rate (%)8.508.507.508.508.75
Exchange Rate (vs USD)171.6173.5151.0161.8172.4
Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop)129.1130.6136.1146.2152.5
Current Account (% of GDP)-3.4-2.5-2.3-2.1-2.7
Current Account Balance (USD bn)-2.5-2.0-1.9-1.7-2.3
Trade Balance (USD billion)-7.6-8.3-8.4-8.9-9.6
Exports (USD billion)11.411.111.611.311.4
Imports (USD billion)18.019.418.919.221.0
Exports (annual variation in %)6.37.1-5.2-2.311.2
Imports (annual variation in %)-6.27.9-
International Reserves (USD)
External Debt (% of GDP)53.754.155.757.059.5

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Sri Lanka Facts

Exchange Rate178.60.02 %Mar 11

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