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IMF Reaches Staff-Level Agreement on the Fourth Review of Sri Lanka’s Extended Fund Facility

After constructive discussions with the authorities in Colombo and during the Spring Meetings in Washington DC, Manuela Goretti, the IMF mission chief for Sri Lanka, issued the following statement: 

“The IMF team reached a staff-level agreement with the Sri Lankan authorities on the fourth review under an economic reform program supported by a three-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangement. All the end-December quantitative performance criteria under the program were met, as the authorities have successfully advanced fiscal consolidation and strengthened international reserves. Due to a weather-related spike in food prices, inflation exceeded the upper limit for the inner band for December, but has since fallen back within the inner band. The authorities are taking actions to implement all the pending structural benchmarks for this review, despite some delays.”

SL Purchasing Managers’ Index - March 2018

The Manufacturing Sector PMI reached a 12-month high and signalled a strong upturn in manufacturing activities by recording 65.6 index points in March from 55.6 index points in February 2018 and was in line with the pattern observed in previous years. The increase of PMI in March was largely attributable to increasing orders in line with the seasonal demand as reflected by increase in New Orders and Production sub-indices. Stock of Purchases and Employment sub-indices also increased during the month. Further, lengthening of the Suppliers’ Delivery Time sub-index also contributed positively to the overall increase. However, most respondents, especially in the Textiles and Apparel sector, highlighted difficulties in finding both skilled and unskilled workers. Overall, all the sub-indices of PMI recorded values above the neutral 50.0 threshold signalling an overall expansion in manufacturing activities during the month. Moreover, the Expectation for activities remains positive for the next three months.  

Public Awareness on Virtual Currencies in Sri Lanka

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) is aware of the growing interest in virtual currencies (VCs), both domestically and internationally.

The term “virtual currencies” is commonly used to refer to digitally created representations of value that are issued by private developers and denominated in their own unit of account. Common examples of virtual currencies are cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum. Virtual currencies are not central bank issued currency.

Media Notice on Prorogation of Parliament of Sri Lanka

By a Gazette notification, with effect from midnight on Thursday 12th April 2018, in accordance with Article 70 of the Constitution the President has exercised his constitutional right to prorogue the Parliament. The next Parliament session will commence on 8th May 2018. During this time, no motions or questions can be tabled in Parliament and any prior actions by Parliament remain valid. The prorogation of Parliament has no impact on the functioning and operation of Government.