The pace of growth in worker remittances has witnessed a marginal recovery in the month of August 2015 compared to the previous year, data released by the Central Bank this week showed.

During August 2015, the pace of growth of workers’ remittances recovered as related foreign exchange inflows grew by 3.3 per cent to US dollars 566 million compared to US dollars 548 million in August 2014, the Central Bank said. On a cumulative basis, workers’ remittances up to August 2015 amounted to US dollars 4,598 million registering a growth of 1.8 per cent over the corresponding period in 2014.

Analysts have previously cautioned that the comparatively slower growth in Sri Lanka’s largest foreign exchange earner this year is a major fiscal concern given the fact that other predominant revenue streams, such as exports, tourism and Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) have also not performed to expectations,

Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake recently acknowledged that Sri Lanka’s budget deficit will be around 6.8 percent of GDP for this year, much higher than the budgeted 4.4 percent. His admission came despite the IMF mission which concluded its visit to Sri Lanka recently, projecting that the country would have a budget deficit of 5.5 to 6 percent of GDP in 2015 financed mainly by domestic borrowing.

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