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External Sector Performance – October 2022

Earnings from merchandise exports declined in October 2022, on a year-on-year basis, for the first time since March 2022, mainly due to lower earnings from garments exports. The decline in import expenditure continued in October 2022, (y-o-y), for the eighth consecutive month, despite recording an increase, compared to September 2022. The merchandise trade deficit recorded a notable contraction in October 2022, compared to the previous year. Meanwhile, the workers’ remittances steadied and earnings from tourism improved in October 2022, whereby earnings from tourism crossed over USD 1 bn during January-October 2022, while workers’ remittances reached about USD 3 bn during January-October 2022. Foreign investment in the government securities market and the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) recorded a marginal net inflow during October 2022. The Central Bank continued to provide forex requirement to finance essential imports, exhausting the liquid level of gross official reserves. Meanwhile, the weighted average spot exchange rate in the interbank market remained around Rs. 363 per US dollar during the month.

CCPI based headline inflation decreased for the second consecutive month in November 2022

Headline inflation, as measured by the year-on-year (Y-o-Y) change in the Colombo Consumer Price Index (CCPI, 2013=100) decreased to 61.0% in November 2022 from 66.0% in October 2022. Following a similar trend, the Food inflation (Y-o-Y) decreased to 73.7% in November 2022 from 85.6% in October 2022, while the Non-Food inflation (Y-o-Y) decreased to 54.5% in November 2022 from 56.3% in October 2022.

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka maintains policy interest rates at their current levels

The Monetary Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, at its meeting held on 23 November 2022, decided to maintain the Standing Deposit Facility Rate (SDFR) and the Standing Lending Facility Rate (SLFR) of the Central Bank at their current levels of 14.50 per cent and 15.50 per cent, respectively, after considering the recent and expected developments in the domestic and global economy and macroeconomic projections. The Board noted that the maintenance of tight monetary policy stance is necessary to contain any demand driven inflationary pressures in the economy, while helping to further strengthen disinflation expectations, thus enabling to steer headline inflation towards the targeted level of 4-6 per cent over the medium term.

NCPI based headline inflation decelerated to 70.6% in October 2022 on year-on-year basis reversing its increasing trend observed since October 2021

Headline inflation, as measured by the year-on-year (Y-o-Y) change in the National Consumer Price Index (NCPI, 2013=100) which followed an increasing trend since October 2021, declined to 70.6% in October 2022 from 73.7% in September 2022. Similarly, the Food inflation (Y-o-Y) decreased to 80.9% in October 2022 from 85.8% in September 2022, while Non-Food inflation (Y-o-Y) decreased to 61.3% in October 2022 from 62.8% in September 2022.

SL Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) – October 2022

Manufacturing PMI declined in October 2022, indicating a contraction in manufacturing activities on a month-on-month basis. Accordingly, Manufacturing PMI recorded an index value of 38.4 in October 2022, with a decline of 4.2 index points from the previous month, driven by decreases recorded in all the sub-indices.

Release of “Sri Lanka Socio Economic Data – 2022” Publication

“Sri Lanka Socio Economic Data – 2022”, the annually published data folder of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, is now available for public information. The current data folder is the 45th volume of the series.

This easy-to-carry booklet contains information categorised under 14 topics, namely, Country Profile; Key Economic Indicators; Country Comparisons; Socio Economic Conditions; Human Resources; National Accounts; Agriculture; Industry; Economic and Social Infrastructure; Prices and Wages; External Trade and Tourism; External Finance; Government Finance; and Money, Banking and Finance. As the data folder presents a wide range of socio economic data of current interest in summary form, it will be a very useful reference material for policy makers, researchers, academics, professionals, students and the general public.

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