Saturday, 21 December 2019 09:31

Sri Lanka’s budget deficit increased to 4.6 per cent

Sri Lanka’s overall budget deficit as a percentage of estimated GDP increased to 4.6 per cent during the first eight months this year from 3.5 per cent recorded in the corresponding period of the previous year, Central Bank statistics showed. .

In financing the budget deficit, domestic financing increased to 4.0 per cent of estimated GDP compared to 1.7 per cent in the corresponding period in 2018.

Foreign financing as a percentage of estimated GDP declined to 0.6 per cent from 1.9 per cent recorded in the corresponding period of 2018.

In nominal terms, outstanding government debt increased to Rs. 12,863.5 bn by end August 2019 from Rs. 11,977.5 bn at end 2018.

Accordingly, total outstanding domestic debt increased by 8.4 per cent to Rs. 6,523.6 bn, and the rupee value of total outstanding foreign debt increased by 6.4 per cent to Rs. 6,339.9 bn by end August 2019.

Earnings from exports grew marginally by 0.8 per cent (year-on-year) to US dollars 9,960 mn during the first ten months of 2019 as a result of higher earnings from exports of textiles and garments (6.3%), rubber products (0.7%), coconut (6.8%), gems, diamonds and jewellery (6.6%) etc.

Import expenditure at US dollars 16,412 mn during the first ten months of 2019 decreased by 12.4 per cent (year-on-year) largely due to lower imports of gold (-99.5%), personal vehicles (-53.2%), rice (-90.1%), fuel (-5.6%) and transport equipment (-17.8%).

As a result, the deficit in the trade account contracted to US dollars 6,451 mn during the first ten months of 2019 from US dollars 8,857 mn in the corresponding period of 2018

The average price of tea (in the Colombo auction) decreased to US dollars 2.91 per kg in October 2019 from US dollars 3.42 per kg in October 2018.

The import prices of sugar increased by 4.3 per cent in October 2019 (year-on-year), while import prices of rice, wheat and crude oil declined

(LI)

 

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