Sri Lanka expects 7.2-pct growth in 2013, US$7.1bn in forex reserves

Jan 02, 2014 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s economy is expected to grow 7.2 percent in 2013 with inflation recorded at 4.7 percent and foreign reserves at 7.1 billion US dollars, the Central Bank said. Net credit to government also declined 3.5 billion rupees in November.

Sri Lanka originally expected 7.5 percent growth for 2013.

“Available leading indicators show that real GDP (gross domestic product) growth is set to record around 7.2 per cent growth for 2013,” the Central Bank said in its monetary policy statement.

“Monetary aggregates moved towards the projected path. Both current and capital accounts of the Balance of Payments (BOP) improved, resulting in a stronger exchange rate and an international reserve position.”

The central banks said Sri Lanka recorded a ‘balance of payments surplus’ of 700 million US dollars as credit slowed.

Foreign reserve at year end was estimated at 7.1 billion US dollars up from 6,877 million US dollars in December 2013.

Sri Lanka’s Central Bank has to repay about 500 million US dollars to the International Monetary Fund, denting its reserves.

Credit to private business was 160 billion rupees up to November. State enterprises were