Economy News from Sri Lanka: The trade deficit contracted in August 2019 as the decline in imports continued while the dip in exports in the previous month has largely recovered. Import expenditure recorded a decline of 16.6 percent (year-on-year) and export earnings declined fractionally by 0.4 percent (year-on-year) in August 2019, mainly due to the lower prices of major export categories.
The trade deficit fell to US dollars 540 million in August 2019 compared to the deficit of US dollars 717 million recorded in July 2019. Tourist arrivals recovered steadily by increasing 24.1 percent in August 2019 over the preceding month, while also narrowing the gap on a year-on-year basis.
Workers’ remittances declined by 3.0 percent (year-on-year) to US dollars 518 million in August 2019. On a cumulative basis, workers’ remittances amounted to US dollars 4,414 million during the first eight months of 2019, recording a decline of 7.6 percent over the corresponding period in the previous year.
There were notable foreign project loan inflows to the government on August 2019, while foreign investments in the CSE and government securities market recorded net outflows in August 2019.
The gross official reserves stood at US dollars 8.5 billion by end August 2019, which was equivalent to 5.1 months of imports.