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COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s economy shrank 7.8% in 2022 from a year ago, government data showed on Wednesday, as the country struggled with the worst financial crisis in more than seven decades.

The island’s fourth-quarter GDP contracted 12.4%, according to the figures.

The state-run Census and Statistics Department said that the agriculture sector shrank 4.6%, while industries contracted 16%, and services dropped 2%, from a year earlier.

Strike grips Sri Lanka as unions protest IMF bailout

Economic mismanagement coupled with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic left Sri Lanka severely short of dollars for essential imports at the start of last year tipping the country into the worst financial crisis since Independence from the British in 1948.

Sri Lanka is waiting for a $2.9 billion bailout program from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to be finalised on March 20.

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