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Sri Lanka exports earning declines in November, trade deficit widens 34.6%Monday, January 26, 2015 > 09:51:50
Sri Lanka's trade deficit widened 34.6 percent in November 2014 as earnings from exports declined, the Central Bank said in its External Sector Performance Review released Friday.
The trade deficit widened to US$ 724.1 million in November 2014, compared to US$ 537.8 million a year ago.
On a cumulative basis, trade deficit in the first eleven months of 2014 increased by 6.6 percent to US$ 7.51 billion compared to the corresponding period in 2013.
Earnings from exports decreased by 10.7 percent, year-on-year, in November 2014 to US$ 921.1 million while the cumulative earnings increased by 7.5 percent to US$ 10.1 billion during the first eleven months of 2014. The decline in exports in November 2014 was largely due to decline in earnings from textiles and garments followed by rubber products and gems, diamonds and jewellery categorized under industrial exports.
In the month Industrial exports declined by 11.8 percent to US$ 684.1 million while Agricultural exports declined by 4.4 percent to US$ 233.1 million in November 2014 compared to the same period last year. Export earnings from tea declined 4.5 percent in November 2014 to US$ 137.6 million.
Textiles and garment exports declined by 14.4 percent to US$ 420.7 million in November 2014 compared to same period last year.
Expenditure on imports increased moderately by 4.8 percent, year-on-year, to US$ 1.65 billion in November 2014, while on a cumulative basis, imports grew by 7.1 percent to US$ 17.6 billion during the first eleven months of 2014.
The increase in import expenditure in November 2014 was mainly led by imports of consumer goods with significant increase in imports of personal motor vehicles such as motor cycles and motor cars as well as rice imports, the Central Bank said.
The rupee remained stable against the US dollar with only a marginal depreciation of 0.3 percent by end 2014.
While outflows on account of foreign debt service payments amounted to US$ 2.05 billion and IMF-SBA payments amounted to US$ 704.4 million, Sri Lanka's gross official reserves continued to remain high at US$ 8.3 billion and total international reserves, which include foreign assets of commercial banks, amounted to US$ 9.6 billion as of end November 2014 .