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* Sri Lanka's trade gap widens in January
Thu, Apr 8, 2010, 01:24 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 08, Colombo: Sri Lanka's trade deficit expanded to USD 688.9 million in January this year, an increase of nearly 260 percent from a USD 191.5 million a year ago, the Central Bank said releasing its external sector performance review Thursday for January 2010.

The Central bank attributed the widened trade gap to a 3.9 percent decline in earnings from exports which stood at USD 472 million.

The expenditure on imports rose significantly by 70.1 percent to USD 1.161 billion, due to increased expenditure on all major categories, particularly intermediate goods led by petroleum imports.

Remittance from the Sri Lankan migrant workers in January 2010 grew 12.3 percent over January 2009 receiving USD 289.8 million.

The gross official reserves without Asian Clearing Union (ACU) funds, were at USD USD 5.135 million, by end January 2010.

Based on the previous 12 month average imports of USD 890 million per month, the gross official reserves, without ACU funds, were equivalent to 5.8 months of imports, the Bank reported.

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