February 12 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s exports growth slowed to 8.4 percent in 2006 from 10.2 percent, while imports grew by 15.7 percent, widening the trade balance by a third to 3.3 billion US dollars, the Central Bank said Tuesday. Private remittances grew by 21 per cent to 2,326 million US dollars containing the current account deficit.
But worker remittances of 2.3 billion dollars and government foreign borrowings of 1.1 billion dollars had helped bridged the deficit creating an overall balance of payments surplus of 193 million dollars and official reserves of 2.5 billion dollars.
Central Bank said exports grew by 12.1 per cent in December to 703 million dollars, which was the highest monthly export revenue earned by the country after the 734 million earned in August.
In 2006, exports grew to 6,882 million US dollars, with garments and apparel brining in 3,080 million US dollars.
Growth in garments and apparel, Sri Lanka’s main industrial export, fell to 6.4 percent from 15.7 percent a year earlier.
Total industrial exports at 5,383 million dollars grew at 8.8 percent also down from a 14.3 percent growth in 2005.
Sri Lanka’s current account deteriorated in 2006 as the Central Ba