May 17, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s state revenues picked up sharply in February 2010 to 108.6 billion rupees in the first two months, up 17 percent from a year earlier, containing the budget deficit at around last year’s level, despite rising current spending, official data showed. Current expenses rose 7.2 percent to 181.3 billion rupees. The deficit on the current account of the budget, or the difference between total revenues and day to day expenses, fell 4.8 percent from a year earlier in nominal terms to 72.7 billion rupees.
Compared to the size of economic output or real terms, the current account deficit fell faster to 1.3 percent of gross domestic product from 1.58 percent last year.
But it is still almost two-thirds of the 1.9 percent gap projected for the entire year in a Treasury report issued to the public in February. Sri Lanka has not yet presented a formal budget for 2010, which is due in June.
Capital expenditure, which brings long term benefits to the country, rose at a faster 17.9 percent to 36.2 billion rupees, pushing the overall deficit to 108.9 billion rupees, up modestly from 107.1 billion last year.
With grants of 0.7 billion rupees for the two months, the deficit excluding grant funding rose 2.3 percent to 108.2 billion rupees or 1.9 per