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SL Purchasing Managers’ Index Survey - March 2017

The Manufacturing sector PMI recorded 66.5 in March which is an increase of 9.4 index points compared to February 2017. This indicates that the manufacturing activities continued to expand in March 2017, largely attributable to increasing orders and manufacturing activities due to new year seasonal demand as reflected through increased in New Orders and Production sub-indices. Stock of Purchases increased with accumulated stock and rectification of delivery delays which witnessed during last month. However, Suppliers’ Delivery Time indicated a decline with normalising supply arrangements especially from China after their new year period. The Employment sub-index also dropped slightly compared to the previous month. Overall data points to an expansion where all the sub-indices are above the neutral 50.0 threshold. The expectations for activities indicated a moderation for the next three months.

Statement Issued by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka Clarifying Certain Media Reports on the Examination of the Employees’ Provident Fund Transactions in Government Securities

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka wishes to clarify its position on certain media reports that carried erroneous facts on the proceedings of the Monetary Board meeting held recently.

The Monetary Board had a discussion on the Report on the Examination of the Employees’ Provident Fund Transactions in Government Securities with a view to decide the suitable course of action to be followed in respect of the findings. The Monetary Board decided to commence disciplinary proceedings in terms of the internal procedures of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka against any officials of the Bank where there is evidence of wrongdoing.

External Sector Performance – December 2016

The performance of Sri Lanka’s external sector was mixed in December 2016. The trade deficit expanded as a result of the considerable increase in import expenditure, which more than offset the growth in export earnings during the month of December 2016. On a positive note, both earnings from tourism and workers’ remittances grew at a healthy rate, year-on-year, during the month. The government securities market witnessed a net outflow in December, while some inflows to the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) were observed.

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Monetary Policy Review - No. 2 of 2017

As per the provisional estimates of the Department of Census and Statistics (DCS), the Sri Lankan economy grew by 4.4 per cent in real terms during 2016 compared to the growth of 4.8 per cent in 2015. Within this annual growth, Industry related activities grew notably by 6.7 per cent driven by construction related activities, while Services related activities grew by 4.2 per cent mainly with the expansion of financial services, insurance and telecommunications. However, Agriculture related activities contracted by 4.2 per cent in 2016, impacted by supply side disruptions on account of floods in the second quarter and drought conditions during the final quarter of 2016. In spite of challenging external factors such as adverse weather conditions and global developments, an acceleration of growth was observed towards end 2016 with the last quarter of 2016 recording a growth of 5.3 per cent, partly supported by the base effect.

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