Trade data for the first 12 months of 2001 shows the deficit has narrowed down to US$ 1.157 bn, as against US$ 1.798 bn deficit during the same period in 2000.
rnThe deficit narrows further to US$ 1.500 bn when the trade data excludes the value of three SriLankan airlines aircrafts imported during the same period.
rnExport earnings during the period has slipped 12.8 percent year-on-year to while imports fell 18.4 percent.
rnThe Central Bank said export earnings continued to be adversely affected by the slow economic growth in industrial countries.
rn”The declining trend in imports was largely attributable to the surcharge imposed on imports and the low demand arising from the slower economic growth and lower petroleum prices,” the bank said today.
rnrnExport earnings for the period declined to US$ 4.817 bn compared with earnings amounting to US$ 5.522 bn in the same period 2000.
rnDuring the month of December, export earnings slipped 36.6 percent to US$ 391 mn as a