July 25, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka external trade continued to contract in May with exports falling 15.1 percent to 710.1 million US dollars and imports easing 6.4 percent to 1,575 million dollars, official data showed. The Central Bank said industrial exports fell 16.2 percent to 636 million US dollars with apparel falling 13.5 percent to 278.2 million US dollars and rubber goods 17.9 percent to 64.1 million US dollars with price falls also seen in raw materials including cotton.
The fall in imports was led by intermediate goods which fell 10 percent to 972.5 million US dollars while consumer goods fell 11 percent to 268.5 million US dollars.
The central bank said spending on non-food consumer goods fell by 15 percent and car imports fell 31.1 percent.
Investment goods rose 11.4 percent to 331.9 million US dollars with machinery rising 9.6 percent to 164.5 million US dollars and building material rising 23.3 percent to 93.7 million US dollars.
The trade gap grew only 2.1 percent to 865.0 million US dollars.
Exports of labour brought in 507 million US dollars as remittances up 22.4 percent.
Exports of listed stocks brought 4.7 million US dollars as portfolio investments, tourism services h