Sri Lanka saw a notable increase in workers’ remittances and a boost in tourist arrivals in July 2023, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) says.
In its latest report on the external sector performance, the CBSL said the workers’ remittances recorded in July 2023 climbed to USD 541 million from USD 279 million in the corresponding month in 2022.
Meanwhile, tourist arrivals amounted to 143,039 as opposed to the figure recorded in June 2023, which stood at 100,388.
The cumulative tourist arrivals during January-July 2023 reached 767,913, compared to 458,670 arrivals recorded during the corresponding period in 2022.
Earnings from tourism in July 2023 were estimated at USD 219 million, in comparison to USD 123 million in June 2023 and USD 85 million in the corresponding month in the previous year.
Consequently, earnings from tourism during January-July 2023 amounted to USD 1,094 million, compared to USD 765 million in the corresponding period in 2022. India, Russia, the United Kingdom, Germany, and France were the main source countries for tourist arrivals during this period.
The report also said the merchandise trade deficit widened in July 2023 due to the combined impact of relatively low export earnings and high import expenditure, compared to July 2022. The deficit in the merchandise trade account increased in July 2023 to USD 367 million from USD 122 million in July 2022.
However, the cumulative trade deficit during January-July 2023 remained significantly low at USD 2,657 million, compared to the corresponding period in 2022 which stood at USD 3,628 million.