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Sri Lanka Purchasing Managers’ Index - February 2019

Manufacturing activities increased at a slower rate in February 2019 compared to January 2019, mainly driven by the decrease in new orders and production, especially in manufacturing of textiles, wearing apparels, leather and related activities. This decline was mainly due to the lesser number of working days in February. Stock of purchases also decreased during the month in line with the decrease in new orders and production.

However, a slight improvement in employment was experienced with the recruitment of new employees to enhance business activities for upcoming seasonal demand. Meanwhile, suppliers’ delivery time lengthened at a slower rate. Logistical issues experienced at the beginning of February and supply disruptions due to Chinese new year holiday season have lengthened the suppliers’ delivery time. All sub-indices apart from new orders and production, recorded values above the neutral 50.0 threshold.

External Sector Performance - December 2018

The trade deficit declined significantly in December 2018 (year-on-year) with a notable deceleration in import expenditure. Exports grew by 1.4 per cent while imports fell by 15.3 per cent in December 2018 (year-on-year).

Total exports of goods grew by 4.7 per cent in 2018 to US dollars 11.9 billion while imports recorded a growth of 6.0 per cent to US dollars 22.2 billion. Consequently, the trade deficit widened moderately to US dollars 10.3 billion in 2018 from US dollars 9.6 billion in 2017.

Earnings from tourism remained healthy with a 4.8 per cent (year-on-year) growth in December 2018, resulting in a total income of US dollars 4.4 billion in 2018, a growth of 11.6 per cent from 2017.

The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka USD 2.4 billion International Sovereign Bond Offering

On March 7th, 2019, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), on behalf of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (Sri Lanka), returned to the USD bond markets, successfully pricing a new issuance of USD 1.0 billion 5-year and USD 1.4 billion 10-year Senior Unsecured Fixed Rate Bonds (the Bonds) with maturity dates of March 14th, 2024 and March 14th, 2029, respectively. The Bonds have been rated ‘B2’, ‘B’ and ‘B' by Moody's Investors Service, Standard and Poor’s and Fitch Ratings respectively. 

This marks Sri Lanka’s thirteenth USD benchmark offering in the international bond markets since 2007, reflecting the international investor community’s continued support for Sri Lanka through the years. BOC International, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, J.P. Morgan, SMBC Nikko and Standard Chartered Bank acted as the Joint Lead Managers and Bookrunners on the successful transaction. 

Land Price Index – Second Half of 2018

Land Price Index (LPI) for Colombo District, compiled by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), reached 125.9 during the 2nd half of 2018, recording an increase of 18 per cent compared to the 2nd half of 2017. The three sub-indices of LPI, namely residential, commercial and industrial have contributed to this increase.

LPI is compiled covering all Divisional Secretariat (DS) divisions of Colombo District using per perch bare land prices collected from the Government Valuation Department in order to monitor the developments in the real estate sector. To maintain homogeneity, three separate sub-indices for residential, commercial and industrial lands are computed, considering the diverse nature of the land use, and the overall LPI is calculated by taking the average of these three sub-indices.