Sri Lanka trade deficit stable in 2008, exports up in December

Feb 15, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s trade deficit grew a mere 5.6 percent in 2007, and exports in December soared 22.7 percent to 863.4 million dollars, the Central Bank said. The trade balance grew to 3,560 million dollars in 2007 with exports growing 12.5 percent to 7.7 billion dollars, and imports growing 10.2 percent to 11.3 billion dollars.

Agricultural exports grew 16.6 percent to 1.5 billion dollars (tea 1,025.2 million dollars) and industrial exports grew 10 percent to 5,920 million dollars (apparel 8.5 percent to 3,341 million dollars).

Consumer goods imports were flat at 2,001 million dollars (1,980 million in 2006) while the country spent more on investment goods which grew 19.6 percent to 2,685 million dollars than petroleum, which grew by 20.6 percent to 2,496 million dollars.

In December the trade deficit surged 80 percent to 295 million dollars with imports growing 33 percent to 1,158 million dollars and exports growing 22.7 percent to 864.4 million dollars which the Central Bank said was the highest ever.

Industrial exports, with a share of 78 per cent in total exports, made the largest contribution to growth rising 15.7 percent with garments