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Inflation Increased in February 2019

Headline inflation as measured by the year-on- year change in the National Consumer Price Index (NCPI, 2013=100)1 increased to 2.4 per cent in February 2019 from 1.2 per cent in January 2019 mainly due to the base effect. Meanwhile, year-on-year Non-food inflation increased to 6.7 per cent in February 2019 from 6.5 per cent in January 2019 while Food inflation also increased to -2.9 per cent in February 2019 from -4.8 per cent in January 2019.

Issuances of International Sovereign Bonds (ISB) by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka

With reference to the recent paper articles on the governance process and issuing yields relating to the 5-year and 10-year International Sovereign Bonds (ISBs) issued by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL), the CBSL wishes to make the following clarifications: 

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.