FROM ISSUE #73 (21 DEC 2001 - 27 DEC 2001) | TABLE OF CONTENTS
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The signs of an economic downturn have been evident since early this year, and now we have the sorry figures. The Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) says economic growth in fiscal year 2001-02 will be the lowest in the past 14 years. That is because of lower than expected agricultural yield?which was washed out by late rains in east Nepal last year?and slowdown in both manufacturing and tourism. The GDP, based on data for the first three months of the current fiscal year, may grow by just 2.5 percent, barely a third of the projection announced in the budget in July (6 percent). Agriculture contributes roughly 40 percent of the GDP, and the growth in the past years mainly reflected the increased agricultural yields thanks to good monsoon rains. Agriculture this year is expected to grow by just 2.1 percent. The non-agricultural sector, which grew by 5.6 percent last year, is expected to slow down to just 2.6 percent, the result of increasing disruption of industrial production and tourism by unstable politics and Maoist violence.