Oct 22, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s exports slowed down in August 2007 but cumulative higher export growth over imports helped narrow the trade deficit for the first eight months of the year, the Central Bank said Monday. It said in a statement on the island’s external trade performance that higher growth of exports over the growth of imports narrowed the cumulative January – August trade deficit to 2,122 million US dollars in 2007 from 2,401 million dollars in 2006.
Private remittances, mainly earnings of migrant Sri Lankan workers which are helping to keep the economy afloat, grew by 17 percent to 1,758 million dollars up to August 2007, containing the current account deficit.
The overall balance of payments registered a surplus of 81 million dollars and the gross official reserves stood at 2,610 million dollars or three months of imports) by end-August 2007.
The bank said export earnings in August 2007 declined by 3.3 percent compared with July 2007.
The decline was much sharper – at nine percent – on a point-to-point basis over August 2006.
But this was largely because export earnings in August 2006 had been “unusually high”, due to a recovery from a temporary setback suffered follow