Sri Lanka imports down 11-pct, tourism earnings down 7.5-pct in April; trade gap narrows

Export-Import

Jun 18, 2019 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s trade deficit further narrowed to 797 million US dollars from 999 million dollars in April 2018, the Central Bank data showed.

The considerable reduction in the trade deficit in April was due to the decline in import expenditure by 11 percent and a marginal increase of export earnings by 0.4 percent.

Earnings from tourism in April recorded a decline of 7.5 percent, reflecting partly the impact of Easter Sunday attacks.

With the decline in tourist arrivals in April, the growth in earnings from tourism moderated to 2.2 percent in the first four months of 2019 over the corresponding period of 2018.

Workers’ remittances amounted to 554 million dollars in April 2019, recording a growth of 2.3 percent. On a cumulative basis, workers’ remittances amounted to 2,171 million dollars during the first four months of 2019.

After a brief spell of volatility in the third week of April 2019, the exchange rate remained stable during the latter part of April 2019.

The country’s gross official reserves stood at 7.2 billion US dollars, which was equivalent to 4.1 months of imports at the end of April 2019.