Earnings from tourism in March 2013 grew at a healthy rate of 16.2%, year-on-year, to US$ 108 million, while cumulative earnings from tourism recorded a growth of 19.1% over the first quarter of 2012.
However, workers’ remittances amounted to US$ 545 million in March 2013, compared to US$ 565 million recorded in March 2012, thereby registering a decline of 3.4%. Nevertheless, cumulative inflows on account of workers’ remittances amounted to US$ 1,560 million during the first quarter of 2013, thus recording an increase of 3.4% over the corresponding period of 2012.
“In March 2013, net inflows to the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) amounted to US$ 40.4 million compared to a net inflow of US$ 143.8 million recorded in March 2012. However, there has been a noticeable increase in transaction volumes at the CSE during the first quarter of 2013. Meanwhile, there have been substantial inflows of foreign investments to Government securities, with net inflows to Treasury bills and Treasury bonds in March 2013 amounting to US$ 33.5 million, compared to a net inflow of US$ 6.8 million in March 2012,” the statement said.
Cumulative net inflows to the Government securities market in the first quarter of 2013 increased substantially by 31.6% to US$ 535 million, compared to a net inflow of US$ 406 million in the first quarter in 2012. Further, long-term loans obtained by the Government amounted to US$ 428 million during the first quarter of 2013, while more inflows are expected to materialise during the rest of the year.
“In line with the above developments, by end March 2013, gross official reserves Amounted to US$ 6,689 million, while total international reserves, which include gross official reserves and foreign assets of commercial banks amounted to US$ 8,121 million. In terms of months of imports, gross official reserves were equivalent to 4.4 months of imports by end March 2013, while total reserves were equivalent to 5.4 months of imports. By end April 2013, gross official reserves are estimated to have increased to US$ 6.9 billion, which is equivalent to around 4.5 months of imports.”