Unchained Melody

The Central Bank left its key short-term discount rates unchanged on Friday after its monthly monetary policy meeting.
The overnight repurchase rate or repo rate was kept at 8.25 percent, while the reverse repurchase rate or reverse repo was left at 10.25 percent.rn

rnCommenting on its review of the economy, the bank said the recent floods would have a marginal impact on overall growth and left year end GDP forecast at 5.5 percent.rn

rn”Initial assessments indicate that the impact of the floods on economic growth in 2003 would be marginal,” the bank said in a statement. rn

rnThe rupee slipped only 0.5 percent against the US dollar for the first five months of this year, indicating stability in the foreign exchange market.rn

rnldblquote However, the declining domestic inflation has enabled Sri Lanka to maintain its international trade competitiveness,
dblquote the bank said. rn

rnContinuing increases in foreign remittances and capital inflows, including inflows to the stock market, have ensured liquidity in the foreign exchange market, despite an increase in the trade deficit. rn

rnThe bank stocked up on foreign reserves, buying US$ 112 mn from the market. Total gross international reserves at end April 2003 stood at US$ 2.699 mn, which is equal to five months of imports. Gross official reserves have picked to around US$ 1.934 mn as at end May 2003.rn