Wednesday, 19 May 2021 22:21

Sri Lanka’s external sector records a mixed performance in March Featured

Sri Lanka’s external sector showed a mixed performance in March 2021 with a widened trade deficit on the one hand, and a healthy growth in workers’ remittances and a slight pickup in the tourism sector on the other.

The deficit in the trade account widened in March 2021, for the first time since April 2020. Both exports and imports were significantly higher in March 2021, compared to March 2020 as well as February 2021, Central Bank revealed.

The deficit in the trade account widened on a year-on-year basis in March 2021, for the first time since April 2020, to US dollars 832 million compared to the deficit of US dollars 549 million recorded in March 2020 and US dollars 572 million in February 2021.

Both exports and imports were significantly higher in March 2021, compared to March 2020 and February 2021. Meanwhile, the cumulative deficit in the trade account during January - March 2021 widened to US dollars 2,059 million from US dollars 1,853 million recorded over the same period in 2020..

: Earnings from merchandise exports in March 2021 increased by 66.7 per cent to US dollars 1,094 million, from low earnings from merchandise export in March 2020 (US dollars 656 million) during the first wave of the COVID-19.

Earnings from exports improved considerably in March 2021 compared to February 2021 also raising export earnings towards pre-pandemic export levels

Sri Lanka’s imports surged 1.96 billion US dollars in March 2021 from 1.52 billion dollars in February as exports and domestic credit picked up, despite Mercantilist import controls, official data show.

“Despite the continuation of the import restriction measures, expenditure on merchandise imports increased significantly in March 2021 to US dollars 1,926 million, which was the highest monthly import value since March 2018, the Central Bank said.

 

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