Trade deficit for the nine months up US$ 631 million, to US$ 1.57 billion on an inflated fuel bill

New credit facilities from India and Iran to finance oil imports will help narrow a widening trade deficit, say the Central Bank. New credit facilities from India and Iran to finance oil imports will help narrow a widening trade deficit, say the Central Bank. Sri Lanka’s trade deficit for the nine months notched up US$ 631 million, to US$ 1.57 billion on an inflated fuel bill.

The August deficit stood at US$ 1.46 billion, up US$ 586 million from a year ago.

However, the Central Bank on Thursday said “export growth is projected to improve further with better performance of garment, tea, rubber and coconut exports.”

On the import side the bank says “growth is expected to taper off, narrowing down the trade deficit. Impact of the trade deficit will be mitigated with improvements in the services sector earnings, worker remittances and with new facilities from India and Iran to finance oil imports.”

The Central Bank added that “the services sector will improve mostly due to the growth in the leisure sector of over 20 percent, and growth in port related services. Inward remittances will also increase due to seasona