Sri Lanka’s external sector continued to recover in many aspects during January 2021, mainly supported by an improved trade deficit and a notable increase in workers’ remittances. The reduced deficit in the trade account in January 2021 compared to January 2020 was the result of a larger decline in merchandise imports over merchandise exports. Meanwhile, workers’ remittances continued to record a notable growth in January 2021, strengthening the external current account. In the financial account, foreign investment in the government securities market recorded a marginal net inflow while the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) recorded net outflows in January 2021. The Sri Lankan rupee experienced depreciation pressure in January 2021, but measures taken by the Central Bank and the continuation of restrictions on non-essential imports by the Government helped contain this pressure.
Trade Balance: The deficit in the trade account narrowed in January 2021 by US dollars 63 million to US dollars 667 million, from US dollars 730 million recorded in January 2020, with a larger decline in imports compared to the decline in exports. In December 2020, the trade deficit was US dollars 562 million.
Trades of Trade: Terms of trade, i.e., the ratio of the price of exports to the price of imports, improved by 7.0 per cent in January 2021, compared to January 2020, with higher export prices and lower import prices compared to January 2020.
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