Sri Lanka’s trade deficit narrows in May: Central Bank 

A deficit of US$ 823 million was reported in the trade account for May versus 933 million dollars in the corresponding month of the prior year, according to the external sector performance review of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL).

The contraction in the trade deficit is attributed to a decline in year on year import expenditure by 3.9 percent and an increase in export earnings by four percent.

Moreover, it is reported that earnings from merchandise exports grew by four percent in May due to an increase in industrial and agricultural goods.

Improved performance in textiles, garments and rubber product exports, and earnings from agricultural exports, are considered the driving forces of the growth in exports.

Earnings from tourism are said to have declined by 70.8 percent to US$ 71 million in May due to a drop in tourist arrivals following the Easter Sunday attacks of 21 April.

The CBSL review also points to a cumulative decline in workers’ remittances of 11.8 percent during the first five months of 2019.

Sri Lanka’s gross official reserves stood at 6.7 billion dollars, which was equivalent to 3.9 months of imports at end May.