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* Sri Lanka's trade deficit contracts 43.5 percent in November 2013
Thu, Jan 9, 2014, 11:06 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 09, Colombo: Sri Lanka's trade deficit in November 2013 contracted significantly by 43.5 percent due to the continued Favorable developments in the external sector, the Central Bank said Thursday releasing the External Sector Performance review.

Earnings from exports increased substantially, reflecting gradual recovery in export destination countries, while expenditure on imports declined in November leading to a trade deficit of US$ 616 million.

Earnings from exports surpassed the US$ 1 billion mark for the second consecutive month in November 2013. Earnings increased by 24.7 percent to US$ 1.032 billion while the import expenditure declined by 14.1 percent to US$ 1.648 billion.

On a cumulative basis, earnings from exports during the first eleven months of 2013 grew by 5.6 percent, while expenditure on imports contracted by 2.5 percent from the corresponding period in 2012. Accordingly, the cumulative trade deficit contracted by 10.7 percent to US$ 7.831 billion, during the first eleven months of 2013 compared to the corresponding period of 2012For the year.

Earnings from agricultural exports increased 10.6 percent for the year to US$ 2.339 billion while the Industrial Products increased by 4.1 percent to US$ 7 billion.

During the January - November 2013 Workers' Remittances grew by 12.7 percent to US$ 6.124 billion and Earnings from Tourism increased 36.2 percent to US$ 1.233 billion.

However, Inflows to the Government declined by 18.8 percent to US$ 4.066 billion during the same period.

By end November 2013, Sri Lanka's gross official reserves amounted to US$ 6.9 billion, while total international reserves, which include foreign assets of commercial banks, amounted to US$ 8.3 billion.

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