Tsunami aid inflow puts Sri Lanka balance of payments in the black

The influx of aid since December’s tsunami disaster will lift Sri Lanka’s balance of payments into the black this year, the central bank said Friday. The influx of aid since December’s tsunami disaster will lift Sri Lanka’s balance of payments into the black this year, the central bank said Friday. Sri Lanka’s overall balance of payments showed a surplus of 179 million dollars in the first quarter to March 31, 2005 thanks to the tsunami aid inflows, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka said in a statement.

The bank gave no comparable 2004 first-quarter balance of payment data.

But it forecast the balance of payments would swing to surplus for 2005 from a deficit of 205 million in 2004 due to aid expected for rebuilding the island following the devastating tsumanis.

It did not say what the surplus would be.

Sri Lanka is banking on three billion dollars in foreign aid to rebuild infrastructure destroyed by the December 26 giant sea surge that killed nearly 31,000 people and left a million homeless.

The island’s trade deficit narrowed 396 million dollars in the first three months of this year from a shortfall of 465 million dollars