Sri Lanka's trade deficit narrowed by 20.7 percent in February to 504 million U.S. dollars on increased earnings from exports, the Central Bank said in its latest report on Monday.
Earnings from exports in February 2014 increased significantly on a year-on-year basis by 5.4 percent to 841 million U.S. dollars, while expenditure on imports declined by 6.2 percent to 1.345 billion U.S. dollars.
"Cumulative trade deficit for the first two months of 2014 contracted by 12.5 percent, as the growth in export earnings of 13. 9 percent outpaced the 1.1 percent increase in import expenditure, " the report said.
Improved performance in agricultural exports, followed by industrial exports, led the significant growth in exports.
Earnings from agricultural exports increased 15.3 percent for February to 201 million U.S. dollars, out of which tea exports increased by 11.7 percent amounting to 116 million U.S. dollars.
Earnings from industrial exports, which account for more than three fourths of total export earnings, increased by 2.5 percent, year-on-year, to 637 million U.S. dollars in February 2014, reflecting an increase in earnings from export of textiles and garments by 6.6 percent to 396 million U.S. dollars.