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 Post subject: Per capita income tops US$ 1000 for first time
 Post Posted: Sun May 01, 2005 2:21 am 
Per capita income tops US$ 1000 for first time

DM / 30APR2005
By Nisthar Cassim

The Central Bank revealed yesterday that for the first time in the country's history, per capita income had topped the US$ 1,000 mark though prosperity is largely confined to the Western Province.

As per the Central Bank 2004 Annual Report released yesterday the country's per capita GDP was $ 1,031, up by $ 83 or 9% over $ 948 in 2003. In 2000 the figure was $ 899 while in 1990 it was a mere $ 473.

"With this achievement it is expected that Sri Lanka would further progress in becoming an upper middle income country facing a new set of challenges", the Central Bank said.

Officials of the Bank said though crossing the $ 1,000 mark Sri Lanka would continue to qualify for concessionary and grant aid from donors and the threshold of upper middle income graduation was a per capita income of US$ 3,035.

The Bank also revealed that the economy grew by 5.4% in 2004, lower compared with 6.6% in 2003. The lower growth was attributed to internal and external shocks such as drought, floods and tsunami as well as sharp rise in oil prices.

"The growth of over 5% is a reflection of the economy's resilience to the many adverse shocks faced," the Bank said. Original forecast for 2004 was a growth of between 5.5% and 6%.

The growth though lower was supported by strong performance in exports, consumption and investment and the resurgence of economic activities as a result of the ceasefire. Services and industrial sectors grew by 7.6% and 5.2% respectively while agriculture suffered a setback due to weather and declined by 0.7%.

Central Bank officials said that Western Province which accounts for 49% of the GDP had a per capita GDP of over $ 1000 while other regions lagged with some provinces recording per capita of below $ 500.

Central Bank said if the country were to reduce poverty and generate jobs to desired levels, an economic growth of 6 to 8% must be achieved. On account of tsunami impact, the Bank has forecast an economic growth of only 5.3% for this year down from the original forecast of 6%.

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