Sri Lankas import bill for April overtook the countrys export revenues, despite higher earnings from money spinners like apparels and tea, the Central Bank said Wednesday.
Trade deficit for April widened for US$ 259 mn from US$ 230 mn, as foreign inflows from tourism, ports, private transfers and net inflows of portfolio investments eased the pressure on the rupee.rn
rnA heavy import bill also helped widen the deficit for the first four months of this year to US$ 724 mn, which was US$ 158 mn higher than the same period 2003.rn
rnExport earnings surged 16 percent to US$ 373 mn in April, which helped pushed cumulative earnings up by 23 percent to US$ 1,738 mn for the first four months of 2004.rn
rnThe key textile and apparel sector brought in the bacon, growing nine percent to US$ 147 mn in over the corresponding period 2003.rn
rnldblquote This was an outcome of increases in both export volumes (five-percent) and unit prices (four-percent),
dblquote the Bank said.rn