Sri Lanka trade deficit expands in April but BOP steady

June 14, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s exports grew 11.5 percent and imports by 7.4 percent in the first four months of 2007, keeping the trade deficit at last year’s level, but the gap in the month of April itself widened, the Central Bank said. In April exports grew 6.8 percent to 535 million dollars, slower than the 22 percent spurt seen in March while imports surged 19.7 percent to 927 million dollars expanding the April deficit by 43.5 percent to 391 million dollars.

In the first four month exports grew to 2.2 billion dollars (from 2 billion dollars), and imports to 3.3 billion dollars (from 3 billion dollars) leaving the trade deficit at 1,051 million dollars a whisker short of last year’s 1,056 million dollars.

Exports

Central Bank said the export growth was mainly driven by agriculture with higher tea prices bringing more money despite lower volumes.

Industrial export growth slowed to 2.5 per cent in April, 2007, followed by the surge in the growth in the previous month.

Central Bank says the growth in consumer goods was led by wheat imports, while investment goods increased reflecting higher imports of building materials.

Petroleum imports rose in April after slackening off in earlier months. In t