Agriculture and forestry grew 2.7 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2014 compared to a growth of 6.8 percent over a similar period in 2013. Tea production decreased by 4.4 percent compared with a growth of 61.8 percent a year earlier. On the other hand, output of coffee and sugarcane recorded significant growths though their combined effect could not offset the poor performance of other crops. Quantities of exports of cut flowers and vegetables declined, while that of fruits rose significantly. International auction prices of coffee and tea decreased compared to the same quarter in 2013.
The manufacturing sector grew 5.0 percent, compared to a 2.5 percent growth rate during the first quarter of 2013. The expansion was mainly driven by a 6.2 percent increase in non-food manufacturing, mainly production of cement and assembly of motor vehicles.
Mining and quarrying increased 9.9 percent; wholesale and retail trade advanced 8.5 percent and electricity and water production rose 4.4 percent.
Construction grew at a slower rate of 4.9 percent while activities in restaurants and hotels shrank 3 percent, due to insecurity concerns coupled with negative travel advisories by some key tourist source countries.
On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted basis, the economy rose 0.7 percent in the first quarter of 2014, down from a 0.9 percent expansion in the previous three months.