Slow Traffic

Feb 20, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s vehicle imports fell 4.1 percent October 2009 from a year earlier to 21,239 vehicles registered, with most categories showing a decline, according to official data.

Dual purpose vehicles were down 58.8 percent to 1,039 and motor cycle imports were down 17.3 percent to 109,738. Import of goods transport vehicles also fell 50.7 percent to 6,090 and land vehicles by 41.2 percent to 12,313.

The central bank said the economy was estimated to grow 3.5 percent in 2009, but has forecast 6-7 percent growth in 2010, after government forces defeated Tamil tiger separatists in May last year. Motor car imports were down 54.9 percent to 370 in October, continuing a trend of the past several months, while dual purpose vehicles were down 51.7 percent and land vehicle imports, which include tractors, down 40.5 percent.

Import of vehicles such as lorries which transport goods was down 5.6 percent to 1,473, for the same period as measured by registration of new vehicles, according to central bank statistics.

Bus imports grew by 14 percent in October to 106, motor cycle imports grew 4.6 percent to 14,231 in the same month and imports of three-wheeled auto-rickshaws w