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Sri Lanka exports down in Dec 2019, imports pick up

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s exports fell 3.2 percent from a year earlier to 1,000 million dollars in December 2019, while imports picked up 2.9 percent, to 1,784 million dollars, central bank data showed.

The trade gap widened to 784 million US dollars from 701 million US dollars a year earlier.

Imports generally pick up when credit and economic activities improve.

Sri Lanka’s imports fell 10.3 percent for the full year 2019, amid a credit and economic slowdown in the wake of a currency collapse in 2018.

Exports grew 0.4 percent to 11.94 billion US dollars in 2019. The trade gap fell 18 percent to 3.5 billion US dollars.

The trade deficit is generally driven when domestic economic agents spend the proceeds of workers remittances, net borrowings by the government and foreign direct investments.

The central bank said in industrial exports fell in December due to weak demand from the EU and USA, though revenue from Canada, Australia and China were up. Apparel exports were down 2.1 percent to 483 million Us dollars.

Tea exports were down 9.6 percent to 105.8 million dollars.

Consumer goods imports grew 9.6 percent to 390 million US dollars, intermediate goods were down 2.7 percent to 956 million US dollars. Investment goods were up 10.5 percent to 435 million US dollars. (Colombo/Feb17/2020)

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