Industrial and agro exports claimed higher prices in 2003 compared to the prices for imports, shifting the terms of trade in Sri Lankas favour.
The trend however did little to contain the trade deficit rising to US$ 1.54 billion for the full year in 2003, US$ 133 million over the 2002 deficit. rn
rnCentral Banks said the deficit was fueled by increased imports of intermediary and capital goods, generally considered a good thing for an economy on the rebound. rn
rnIndustry watchers interpret the growth in intermediary and capital goods as a rise in exporter confidence, with 2003s inputs reaping results for 2004. rn
rnThe import sectors 9 per cent increase was driven by a recovery in the export and domestic industrial activity. rn
rnFood imports increased only marginally due to lower imports of rice, wheat and sugar, which offset the increases in other food items. rn
rnThe export sector also posted a 9 per cent rise. The growth was fuelled largely by the garment sector and was recorded off a 2