External Sector Performance – February 2018

A notable growth in tourist arrivals and continuous net foreign inflows to the stock exchange amidst a significant widening of the trade deficit characterised the external sector performance in February 2018. A surge in gold imports was the primary driver behind the fastest increase in overall merchandise imports in nearly 3-1/2-years, resulting in a further widening of the trade deficit in February 2018. Continuing the growth momentum observed in January 2018, earnings from tourism increased significantly in February 2018. However, workers’ remittances declined in February 2018 following a growth in January. The financial account of the balance of payments (BOP) recorded a net inflow of foreign investments to the stock exchange, helping to counterbalance a net outflow in the government securities market in February 2018. The BOP was further strengthened by the successful issuance of two international sovereign bonds in April 2018 which augmented gross official reserves to an estimated US dollars 9.9 billion by end April 2018, the highest level recorded so far. Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan rupee depreciated by 3.2 per cent against the US dollar during the year up to 11 May 2018.   


Published Date: 

Friday, May 11, 2018