The CBSL states that the merchandise trade deficit continued to remain low compared to a year ago, though it widened in November 2022 over the previous month. Earnings from merchandise exports declined in November 2022, mainly due to lower global demand, particularly for garment exports.
Meanwhile, merchandise import expenditure also declined for the ninth consecutive month in November 2022 on year-on-year basis, despite recording an increase, compared to October 2022. Workers’ remittances continued to recover and recorded a notable increase in November 2022 over a year earlier and the previous month. Earnings from tourism increased in November 2022 over the previous month supported by a growth of tourist arrivals over 40 per cent.
Foreign investment in the government securities market recorded a marginal net inflow during November 2022, while the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) recorded a marginal net outflow during November 2022. The Central Bank continued to provide foreign exchange to the domestic foreign exchange market to part finance essential imports. Consequently, the build-up of gross official reserves remained constrained. Meanwhile, the weighted average spot exchange rate in the interbank market remained around Rs. 363 per US dollar during the month.
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