With regard to the IMF loan, things still seem to be on the fence.
Today is the 15th and it seems like Sri Lanka has not been included in the IMF’s agenda for July as per some local News papers. This is despite the comments made previously that the indicative date for the release of the loan will be somewhere mid July. Its difficult to state the timelines on when the country would actually get the loan.
Sri Lanka’s trade deficit declined by 64% in May 2009 for the 5th consecutive month. In the meantime the Island’s cumulative trade deficit has decreased by 61.9% from USD 2,577 million within the same period in 2008 to USD 982 million in 2009 (5 months ended).
However Export earnings dropped by 27.8% in May 2009, despite agricultural exports growing by 2.5%. The decrease is mainly due to the Textiles & Garments exports to the EU & USA declining by 17.9% & 29.4% respectively. This is a global impact whereby the major economies are having very low demand due to the recession.
Expenditure on imports has also decreased by 42.1% for the first 5 months ended this year.
Tourist arrivals to the country has already increased by 8.1% in June when compared with a year ago. In 2008, Sri Lanka received 438,475 tourists despite the war. Hence exceeding the previous target of achieving 500,000 tourists in a calendar year is now looking mediocre.