The widening trade deficit and strengthening US Dollar in September adversely impacted Sri Lanka’s balance of payments during the month as export earnings exceeded US$ 1 billion but growth in import expenditure outpaced this.

Merchandise export earnings surpassed one billion dollars for the fourth consecutive month while industrial export earnings grew by 9.4 percent. Earnings from agricultural exports declined by 10.8 percent during the month, reflecting poor performance in almost all categories except seafood.

However, expenditure on merchandise imports grew by 6.1 percent over the corresponding period of the previous year to almost 1.8 billion dollars as a result of increased fuel and vehicle imports.