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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

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Sri Lanka's trade deficit widened to more than two billion dollars in the first four months of the year as imports of oil erased export gains, central bank figures showed Monday.

Imports from January to April rose to 4.53 billion dollars, up from 3.29 billion dollars in the corresponding period last year, the bank said. Exports grew marginally to 2.48 billion dollars, up from 2.23 billion dollars.

Despite the trade balance widening 92.4 percent in the first four months of the year, the overall balance of payments recorded a surplus of 320 million dollars, the bank said.

It did not say how the overall balance of payments improved, but official sources said better than expected foreign remittances from Sri Lankans working abroad had seen a big inflow of foreign exchange into the country.

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