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Sri Lanka exports up 11.6-pct in Jan 2018, trade gap rise on financial inflows

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s exports rose 11.6 percent to 965.4 million dollars in January 2018, and the imports rose 12 percent to 2,014 billion US dollars, driven by rising incomes from labour tourism exports and higher financial sector inflows, official data showed.

Textile and apparel exports rose 20 percent to 434.8 million dollars in January 2018 from a year earlier, with garments up 1 percent to 409.3 million dollars and textiles up 25.9 percent to 18.5 million dollars, the central bank said.

Rubber products rose 22.6 to 71 million dollars, petroleum products were up 78 percent to 52.7 million dollars amid rising prices.

Tea exports were up 10.1 percent to 111.8 million dollars partly helped by price increases, and seafood was up 25.8 percent to 22.9 million US dollars.

Imports were up 12 percent to 2,014.5 million US dollars.

The gap rose to 1,049 million dollars from 934 million dollars. Sri Lanka’s import are almost double the exports because the country has strong non-merchandise exports in the form of labour (remittances), tourism services and the government borrows abroad.

Earnings from tourism was 443 million US dollars up 8.9 percent and workers remittances rose 8.8 percent to 729 million US dollars.

There was 37 million dollars of inflows to the stock market, 170 million dollars to bonds and the government borrowed 116 million dollars in project loans.

Government loan repayments, and central bank foreign reserve collections (which are mostly invested in the US), which send capital out of the country will trim the trade gap, by reducing the money available to be spend domestically. (Colombo/April07/2018)





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