Sri Lanka worker remittances drop 15.6-pct in April, tourism up

ECONOMYNEXT – Remittances from migrant workers abroad dropped 15.6 percent to 487.9 million US dollars in April 2017 from 578 million dollars a year earlier, the Central Bank said.

Total remittances up to April 2017 were also down 6.3 percent to 2,221.7 million dollars

"Adverse economic and geopolitical conditions prevailing in the Middle Eastern region continued to have a negative impact on workers’ remittances," the central bank said.

Sharply lower oil prices in 2016 hurt the finances of key gulf countries where Sri Lankans work.

Though oil prices have gone up in the last two quarters, a diplomatic rift between Qatar and several Gulf nations have also caused uncertainty.

Estimated earnings from tourism rose 17.5 percent to 274.9 million dollars in April 2017 from a year earlier.

During the first four months tourism earnings were up 6.1 percent to 1.31 billion US dollars.

Tourism which is in the service sector and has seen new investment has been providing attractive opportunities for potential workers, who do not want to work in the factory floor. (Colombo/July10/2017)

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