Sri Lanka ships more goods in April; trade deficit widens

Minister appoints Dr Swaminathan to IPACSL as Chairperson

May 30, 2006 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s trade deficit – the broadest measure of international trade – expanded during the four-months to April to 1,057 million dollars, on costly oil import bill, the Central Bank said Tuesday. However, the deficit was somewhat contained as Sri Lankans residing abroad sent home 221 million dollars – up 28 percent during the three-months to March.

Sri Lanka’s balance of payments (BOP) has recorded a 197 million dollar surplus for the four months to April, which helped prop up gross official reserves of the Central Bank to 3.0 billion dollars – sufficient to cover 3.8 months of imports.

The balance of payments is a record of the nation’s total payments to foreign countries, including the cost of imports and the outflow of capital, along with the total receipts from abroad, including the export earnings and the inflow of capital.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka earned 502 million dollars in April (up 22% YoY) – the highest increase so far this year – after shipping more clothes and tea to buyers overseas.

The boosts in April, helped cumulative export earnings grow 4-percent to 2,020.6 million dollars, the bank said.

The gains, however were negated as the island spent 3.077