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FINANCIAL CHRONICLE™ » FINANCIAL CHRONICLE™ » sri lankas trade deficit widened 39.8 % in december 2014

sri lankas trade deficit widened 39.8 % in december 2014

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Teller

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Sri Lanka's trade deficit widened 9.1 percent in 2014 to US$ 8.3 billion, according to the Central Bank data released in its External Sector Performance Review Wednesday.

Earnings from exports grew 7.0% to US$ 11.1 billion while import expenditure rose 7.9% to US$ 19.4 billion during the year.

The trade deficit widened 39.8 percent to US$ 787.61 million in December 2014, compared to US$ 563.4 million a year ago.

Earnings from exports increased 2.2 percent, year-on-year, in December 2014 to US$ 1.01 billion while the expenditure on imports increased 15.9% to US$ 1.8 billion.

The largest contribution came from industrial exports, supported by a substantial increase in transport equipment, which included an export of a cruise ship.

However, earnings from textiles and garments exports which accounted for about 45 per cent of total exports recorded a marginal decline of 0.6 per cent in December 2014 against the high export base recorded in December 2013, the Central Bank reported.

In the year Industrial exports rose by 6.5 percent to US$ 8.25 billion while Agricultural exports increased by 8.2 percent to US$ 2.8 billion compared to the same period last year.

Export earnings from tea inclined 5.6 percent in 2014 to US$ 1.63 billion.

Textiles and garment exports increased by 9.4 percent to US$ 4.93 billion in the year 2014 compared to 2013.

The increase in import expenditure in 2014 was mainly led by imports of consumer goods with significant increase in imports of food, personal motor vehicles such as motor cycles and motor cars as well as rice imports, the Central Bank said.

Import expenditure on consumer goods rose 21.1 percent to US$ 3.85 billion in the year 2014 while expenditure on investment goods such as machinery and equipment declined 2.4 percent to US$ 4.15 billion.

Earnings from tourism increased by 24.6 percent in December 2014 to US$ 258.1 million and cumulatively increased 28.62 percent to US$ 2.2 billion for the year.

Workers' remittances amounted to US$ 7.02 billion in 2014. Meanwhile, December 2014 recorded the highest ever monthly inflow of workers' remittances of US$ 708.8 million compared to US$ 602.8 million in December 2013.

Inflows to the financial account of the BOP were moderate during December 2014.

The rupee remained stable against the US dollar with only a marginal depreciation of 0.2 percent by end 2014.

Sri Lanka's gross official reserves continued to remain high at US$ 8.2 billion and total international reserves, which include foreign assets of commercial banks, amounted to US$ 9.9 billion as of end December 2014.

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