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* Sri Lanka exports of garments and textiles up, trade deficit down in FebruaryThu, May 2, 2013, 09:10 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.
May 02, Colombo: Sri Lanka's exports of garments and textiles, which have a significant share of around 40 per cent in total exports, increased on an year-on-year basis, by 8.8 percent, in February 2013, the Central Bank said today.
Although overall export earnings declined by 2.9 percent to US$ 798 million in February this year, the earnings from exports of garments and textiles rose to US$ 371.6 million, according to the External Sector Performance released Thursday for February 2013.
Expenditure on imports also declined by 9.3 percent, year-on-year, to US$ 1.433 billion in February 2013.
Accordingly, the trade deficit for the first two months of 2013 declined by 20.3 percent, year-on-year, to US$ 1.424 billion.
Earnings from exports declined as earnings from both agricultural exports and industrial exports declined while earnings from exports of agricultural commodities declined mainly as a result of lower earnings from rubber and coconut exports, the Central Bank said.
Decline in imports of refined petroleum products, transport equipment, wheat, vehicles as well as dairy products have made a significant contribution towards the decline in import expenditure in February.
The multi-pronged policy strategy implemented by the government and the Central Bank during the first half of 2012 to curb the widening trade deficit has continued to help reduce the deficit in the current account, the Bank said.
Meanwhile, tourist arrivals to the country increased by 11.6 per cent in the first two months of 2013 while earnings from tourism grew by 20.7 percent to US$ 103 million.
Workers' remittances grew 4.2 percent amounting to US$ 490 million in February 2013.
Total international reserves which include gross official reserves and foreign assets of commercial banks, amounted to US$ 8.144 billion by end February 2013.
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