ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s exports grew 14.7 percent from a year earlier to 1,092 million dollars in February 2022 while imports grew 22.9 percent 1,888 million US dollars, data showed as tourism returned, and credit to state enterprises also picked up.

Industrial exports soared 19.4 percent to 882.7 million US dollars in February 2022 from a year earlier as the country experienced the worst currency crisis in the history of its intermediate regime central bank.

The central bank printed 55 billion rupees in February 2022 after also printing money in January (partly to repay external debt).

When a central bank prints money, partly via state workers salaries, total domestic demand for goods go up above that is usually generated from exports, receipts, tourism receipts and remittances.

Imports grew 22.9 percent to 1,873 million dollars up from 1,524 million US dollars with an estimated 174 million US dollars in tourism receipts.

In the absence of money printing, a fall in tourism receipts leads to a fall in imports as tourism sector workers lose incomes, reducing imports.

The stock market also saw an inflow of 49 million US dollars. (Colombo/May13/2022)