The Central Bank (CB) yesterday said that the delay in releasing the second quarter (2Q) GDP estimates by the Department of Census and Statistics (DCS) is unacceptable.
Joining an online press conference yesterday, CB Director Economic Research Dr. Chandranath Amarasekera said that the delay was unacceptable while noting that the CB has released data and statistics to the public on a timely manner, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Amarasekera noted that the CB has already expressed its concerns on the delay to the DCS officially. The DCS announced that the GDP estimates for 2Q and 3Q would be released together on December 15.
However, in a recent statement it noted that the release of GDP estimates might get further delayed, considering the limitations faced by
“For instance, the third quarter of 2020 started with the effect of the second wave of COVID-19 and currently the effect of this pandemic has already spread out in more than 21 districts of the country. Some districts have been locked down fully or partially at the moment.
Travel using public transport has been limited and the number of officers who come to office has also been limited, according to the health-related guidelines issued by the Health Ministry, in order to control the spread of COVID-19. Some of the officers have already started to work from home with limited resources. With all these constraints, the DCS will try its best to release the National Accounts Estimates as planned,” the DCS said in a statement.
Opposition legislators, economists, analysts and think tanks have already expressed their concerns over the delay in releasing the latest GDP estimates.
Sri Lanka’s economy is expected to have recorded a steep contraction in 2Q, following the 1.6 percent contraction in 1Q.