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External Sector Performance - January 2019

In January 2019, the trade deficit continued its improving trend observed in recent months. The trade deficit was recorded at US dollars 617 million during the month, compared to a deficit of US dollars 701 million in December 2018, and US dollars 1,049 million in January 2018.

This significant reduction in the trade deficit was due to the combined effect of higher earnings from exports and a notable deceleration in import expenditure. Exports grew by 7.5 per cent while imports declined significantly by 17.8 per cent in January 2019 (year-on-year).

Tourist arrivals grew by 2.2 per cent (year-on-year) in January 2019, resulting in earnings from tourism of US dollars 458 million during the month.

Sri Lanka Purchasing Managers’ Index - March 2019

Manufacturing activities accelerated in March 2019 compared to February 2019. Manufacturing PMI reached a 46-month high and signalled a surge in manufacturing activities. The increase of PMI in March was largely attributable to increase in New Orders in line with the seasonal demand, especially in manufacturing of food and beverages.

The Production also increased significantly, with the intention of achieving expected production levels ahead of the new year holidays in April. The Stock of Purchases and Employment also increased during the month in line with tight production schedules. Most respondents, especially in textile and apparel sector, highlighted that they had to work overtime in order to timely fulfil the orders ahead of festival holidays. Further, lengthening of Suppliers’ Delivery Time also contributed positively to the overall increase.

All sub-indices of PMI Manufacturing recorded values above the neutral 50.0 threshold signalling an overall expansion in manufacturing activities in March 2019 compared to February 2019.

The Central Bank Launched a Roadmap for Sustainable Finance in Sri Lanka

Dr. P Nandalal Weerasinghe, Senior Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Sri Lanka Launching the Roadmap for Sustainable Finance in Sri Lanka at the Sustainable Banking Network Global Meeting of the International Finance Corporation.Central Bank of Sri Lanka launched a Roadmap for Sustainable Finance in Sri Lanka on 10 April 2019 at the Sustainable Banking Network Global Meeting of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in Washington, D.C, USA. This Roadmap provides a broad direction to financial regulators and financial institutions to effectively manage environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks associated with projects they finance and help increase assistance to businesses that are greener, climate-friendly and socially inclusive.

Real-time Notifications for Transactions in Government Securities (SMS/Email Alert Service)

Introducing another feature for the investments and to enhance the awareness of investors in the Government Securities (‘Customers’ of the LankaSecure System), the Central Bank of Sri Lanka which operates and maintains the LankaSecure System has introduced an SMS/ Email Alert Service from 25th March 2019. 

The SMS/ Email Alert is a service that sends real-time notifications to investors in Government Securities for each and every movement of scripless securities in Customer’s Securities Account(s). In other words, customers receive a notification (SMSs from “LankaSecure” and emails from “”) immediately after a transaction in their Securities Account which is also known as CDS account.