Sri Lanka’s earnings from exports declined by 6.0 per cent in the month of October to US dollars 847.3 million, year-on-year, reflecting lower earnings from exports of all major categories mainly due to weak global demand. On a cumulative basis, earnings from exports declined by 3.9 per cent to US dollars 8,843 million during the first ten months of 2015, reflecting a significant decline in earnings from tea, rubber products and sea food exports.
On the other hand, expenditure on imports decreased by 6.4 per cent, year-on-year, to US dollars 1,638.3 million in October 2015. The largest contribution for this reduction had come from fuel imports, followed by rice and textile and textile articles. Despite the increase in import volumes of both crude oil and refined petroleum, the fuel import bill declined by 30.5 per cent in October 2015 reflecting the substantial decrease in oil prices.
During the first ten months of 2015, expenditure on imports decreased by 1.2 per cent to US dollars 15,780 million, mainly led by a 15.8 per cent drop in expenditure on intermediate goods imports.
The deficit in the trade account in October 2015 contracted by 6.8 per cent to US dollars 791 million in comparison to US dollars 848 million in October 2014. However, the trade deficit for the first ten months of 2015 increased by 2.5 per cent to US dollars 6,936 million.
Earnings from tourism registered a significant growth of 20.4 per cent (year-on-year), to US dollars 229.5 million in November 2015. The cumulative earnings from tourism during the first eleven months are estimated to have increased by 18.1 per cent to US dollars 2,534.8 million in comparison to US dollars 2,146.7 million recorded during the corresponding period of 2014.