Sri Lanka October trade gap widens, 10-month deficit still down

Dec 14, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s trade deficit for the first ten months of 2007 narrowed 3.7 percent to 2,846 million US dollars period, though the gap in October widened, the Central Bank said Friday. Total export earnings during January-October 2007 totalled 6,286 million dollars, following a growth of 13.1 per cent from the same period last year.

Total spending on imports during the period was 9,132.4 million dollars, up 7.3 per cent over that of the corresponding period in 2006.

The trade deficit for October 2007, at 443 million dollars, was higher than that for October 2006, which was 357 million dollars.

But the Central Bank said in a statement that export earnings in October 2007 grew strongly although slightly slower than previous month, partly underpinned by a sharp increase in tea exports.

“Following the 19.2 per cent expansion recorded in the previous month, earnings from exports increased by 18.2 per cent, year-on-year, to 634.8 million dollars in October 2007, with all key categories of exports contributing to this growth.”

Industrial exports grew by 12.1 per cent, with exports of textiles and garments, which constituted 40 per cent of total exports, increasing b