Shrinking Fast

Sri Lankas trade deficit for the first seven months of this year shrank to US$ 824 mn as the countrys import bill galloped ahead of export earnings.
The Central Bank said on Friday that cumulative export earnings during the period rose 18 percent to US$ 2.871 bn, while the import bill picked up by eight percent to US$ 3.694 bn.rn

rnThe narrow trade deficit, together with higher foreign exchange inflows coming from tourism, port, private transfers and capital account flows, helped stabilise the rupee.rn

rnThe increase foreign exchange liquidity, helped the Central Bank to buy US$ 201 mn from the market during the first seven months of 2003.rn

rnExports

rnExport earnings during the month of July topped US$ 493 mn, as against US$ 430 mn reported in 2002.rn

rnTop revenue generation came from the key textile and apparel sector, (up 7 percent to US$ 251 mn), closely followed by tea (up 19 percent to US$ 61 mn), rubber based products, machinery and equipment, diamond, and food & beverages. rn