Earnings from tourism increased to US dollars 1,402.5 million during the first five months of 2016 in comparison to US dollars 1,184.4 million recorded during the same period of 2015.
Tourist arrivals increased to 125,044 during May 2016, recording a growth of 10.1 per cent over May 2015. Accordingly, tourist arrivals during the first five months of 2016 increased by 18.4 per cent to 846,229 compared to the corresponding period of 2015.
The top five sources of tourist arrivals up to May 2016 were India, China, the UK, Germany and France, accounting for 52.2 per cent of the total tourist arrivals during the period.
Receipts from workers’ remittances declined by 1.4 per cent to US dollars 578.0 million in April 2016 in comparison to US dollars 585.9 million in April 2015. Meanwhile, inflows from workers’ remittances at US dollars 2,371.4 million during the first four months of 2016 recorded an increase of 4.7 per cent over the corresponding period of 2015.
FDI inflow, inclusive of foreign loans to BoI companies, amounted to US dollars 164.5 million during the first quarter of 2016 in comparison to US dollars 346.4 million recorded in the corresponding period of 2015.
The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) recorded a net outflow of US dollars 19.5 million up to end April 2016, which consisted of net outflows of US dollars 20.8 million from the secondary market and inflows of US dollars 1.3 million to the primary market.
The government securities market recorded a net outflow of US dollars 565.2 million during the first four months of 2016 compared to a net inflow of US dollars 25.7 million during the corresponding period of 2015.
Long-term loans to the government recorded a net outflow of US dollars 67.5 million during the first four months of 2016, compared to a net inflow of US dollars 57.0 million during the corresponding period of 2015.
During the first four months of 2016, the overall BOP is estimated to have recorded a deficit of US dollars 958.0 million in comparison to a deficit of US dollars 1,025.2 million recorded during the corresponding period of 2015.
Sri Lanka’s gross official reserves as at end April 2016 amounted to US dollars 6.1 billion, equivalent to 3.9 months of imports, while total foreign assets amounted to US dollars 8.3 billion, equivalent to 5.3 months of imports.
The rupee recorded a modest depreciation of 1.2 per cent against the US dollar during the period from end 2015 to 29 July 2016. Furthermore, reflecting the cross currency movements, the rupee also depreciated against the euro by 2.6 per cent, the Japanese yen by 14.6 per cent, the Canadian dollar by 6.3 per cent, the Australian dollar by 4.3 per cent and the Indian rupee by 0.2 per cent during this period while appreciating against the pound sterling by 11.1 per cent.