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SL records strong post-war growth

world Updated: Jun 25, 2010 17:12 IST

AFP
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Sri Lanka's economy expanded 7.1 per cent during the first quarter of this year, the statistics office said on Friday, as the island picks itself up after a long civil war.

The growth for the January-March period, up from 1.6 per cent at the same point last year, was boosted by expansion in farm produce and services.

"This promising growth was mainly backed by prevailing peace across the country and also easing of the global economic recession to a certain extent," the department said in a statement.

The economy has continued to benefit from stability after the 37-year conflict against separatist Tamils ended in May last year.

Agriculture, which includes rice, tea, rubber and fishing, expanded 9.0 per cent, compared with 3.0 per cent a year earlier, lifted by a 47.2 per cent growth in tea production.

Makers of Sri Lanka's "Pure Ceylon Tea," the island's chief cash crop, enjoyed good weather and increased global demand.

The country's central bank this month projected the 41-billion-dollar economy would expand 7.0 per cent this year compared with 3.5 per cent in 2009, due to post-war expansion in reconstruction and farming.

Some 100,000 people perished during the conflict, according to UN estimates.