Slower Pick Up

The bank said the deficit for the first quarter shrank 18.5 percent to US$ 277 mn from US$ 340 mn recorded in the same period 2001.

rnrnExport earnings for the quarter slipped 15.2 percent to US$ 1,080 mn compared with US$ 1,274 mn in 2001.

rnrnImport expenditure dropped by 15.9 percent to US$ 1,358 mn during the quarter under review.

rnrnExports
rnrnExport earnings fell 25 percent to US$ 366 mn in March, as against US$ 486 mn realised in March 2001.

rnThe bank said export earnings continued to be effected by the sluggish demand from some industrial countries, mainly from USA and European Union. ldblquote But a gradual recovery is expected towards the second half of the year,
dblquote the bank said.

rnThe key textile and garment sector saw exports drop 29.1 percent to US$ 181 mn in March 2002. Volumes during the month declined 20.4 percent, while unit prices slipped 10.9 percent. The decline was largely attributed to lower demand from Sri Lanka
quote s key markets in the US, UK, Canada an