Sri Lanka resets 2015 GDP to reflect emerging economic activities – Reuters

  • The new base captures the Port City’s recovery and IT departments that have grown in size and importance

The Department of Census and Statistics (DCS) said yesterday that it had changed the base year for measuring gross domestic product (GDP) to 2015 from 2010, the base year used so far.

According to DCS officials, the exercise is part of a periodic rebasing that should be done in line with international best practices and also to capture new and emerging economic activities in the recent past.
They also said they view 2015 as a year of fairly stable economic performance, which can be used to rebase past economic output figures as well as to measure output in the future.

Cabinet also gave the go-ahead this week to release revised quarterly and annual GDP figures based on the new base year.

GDP for the first quarter of 2022 will also be measured using 2015 as the base year.
According to DCS officials, the new baseline year will capture new and outsized economic activities such as the Port City land reclamation that has taken place and emerging economic trends such as digital economic activities that have accelerated in the aftermath. from 2015 before the pandemic added a flywheel from 2020. From.

“We have attempted to recognize the real economic contribution of the expansion of information technology and related digital services in the economy,” a senior DCS official said.

In addition, the DCS has incorporated new data series and new and updated methodologies for measuring economic activities as part of the new base.

However, Sri Lanka is expected to register a contraction in its GDP in 2022, as the Central Bank has repeatedly underlined the downside risks to the economy and the enormous difficulty in achieving even the reduced 1% projection, especially since the March crash. The base year has been revised several times in history, in 1958, 1963, 1975, 1990, 2002 and in 2010. The national accounts are published with a lag of 75 days and the GDP for the first quarter of 2022 is expected for mid-June.

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Richard V. Johnson