Exports grow by 12.1 per cent
EARNINGS: Export earnings grew by 12.1 per cent and reached
its second highest monthly value in December 2006 after the highest
value of US dollars 734 million recorded in August 2006, the Central
Bank said yesterday.
Exports increased to US dollars 703 million in December 2006 compared
to US dollars 627 million in December 2005. Industrial exports drove
this growth aided by strong performance in textiles and garments.
Agricultural exports were affected by the temporary disruption in tea
production due to the labour unrest prevailed in the plantation sector
during last few weeks of 2006.
However, tea exports recorded the highest ever value of US dollars
881 million and the quantity of 327 metric tons during the year. The
cumulative exports in 2006 grew by 8.4 per cent from US dollars 6,347
million in 2005 to US dollars 6,883 million in 2006.
Imports also grew by 14.8 per cent in December 2006 reflecting higher
imports in all categories of imports i.e., consumer, intermediate and
The growth in consumer goods was led by consumer durables while the
growth in intermediate goods were driven by the imports of petroleum and
textiles. Imports of investment goods increased reflecting higher
imports of machinery and equipment and building materials. Cumulative
imports in 2006 grew by 15.7 per cent from US dollars 8,863 million in
2005 to US dollars 10,253 in 2006.
The trade deficit reached US dollars 164 million in December 2006 and
the overall trade deficit in 2006 increased to US dollars 3,370 million.
Private remittances grew by 21 per cent to US dollars 2,326 million
in 2006, particularly containing the current account deficit.
The overall balance of payments registered a surplus of US dollars
193 million and the gross official reserves stood at US dollars 2,515
million (3 months of imports) by end December 2006.