Upward March

Continuing a robust recovery, Sri Lankas export earnings clocked in a double-digit growth for the first nine months of this year, which helped the trade deficit shrink marginally, the Central Bank said Monday.
The positive sentiment contributed to a rise in exports and a higher import bill in September. rn

rnHigher export numbers helped lower the trade deficit to US$ 64 mn in Sept, compared to a deficit of US$ 82 mn in 2002. rn

rnThe overall improvement in the liquidity in the foreign exchange market, lessened the pressure on the exchange rate and enabled the Central Bank to purchase, on a net basis, a sum of US$ 333.5 mn from the market during the first nine months of 2003. rn

rnThe period Jan-Sept. saw the trade deficit in dollar terms shrink to US$ 940 mn over US$ 948 mn last year, which was largely aided by a 11 percent rise in export proceeds (US$ 3.802 bn) and a 9 percent rise (US$ 4.742 bn) in the countrys import billrn

rnEXPORTS rn

rnMeanwhile, export earnings for September ros