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Sri Lanka workers remittances record a marginal increase in July

Sri Lanka workers’ remittances increased marginally in July and remained in excess of the trade deficit, thereby supporting the forex liquidity conditions under the severe balance of payments pressures.

In July, remittances amounted to $ 279 million, against $ 274 million in June and $ 453 million in July last year.

The first seven months haul was down by 50% to $ 1.88 billion. The trade deficit in July was $ 123 million, and in the first seven months, it was $ 3.6 billion, against $ 4.9 billion in the corresponding period of last year.

Total departures for foreign employment were recorded at 22,821 in July and comprised unskilled (8,232), skilled (7,091) and domestic aid (4,479) categories.

Total departures for foreign employment during January-July were recorded at 163,522, compared to 37,041 in the corresponding period of the previous year, and a total of 117,952 in 2021.

CBSL also said that earnings from tourism recorded an increase in July (YoY) to $ 85 million on the low base.

Foreign investment in the Government securities market recorded a marginal net inflow ($ 4 million) in July, resulting in a cumulative net inflow of $ 7 million to the Government securities market during January-July.

Net inflow to the Colombo Stock Exchange amounted to $ 2 million in July and, on a cumulative basis, including primary and secondary market transactions, recorded a net inflow of foreign investments amounting to $ 95 million.

CBSL also said Gross official reserves stood at $ 1.8 billion as of the end of July. This included the swap facility from the People’s Bank of China, equivalent to around $ 1.5 billion, which is subject to conditionality on usability.

The Central Bank continued to supply forex liquidity to finance essential imports by utilizing inflows to gross official reserves. Consequently, the level of usable reserves remains at a significantly low-level by the end of July. Total foreign assets, which consist of gross official reserves and gross foreign assets of the banking sector, amounted to $ 5.9 billion at the end of July.

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