In October 2001, both exports and imports, in US dollar terms, recorded lower values when compared with the corresponding monthly values in the previous year. However, the trade deficit narrowed to US dollars 131 million compared with a deficit of US dollars 178 million recorded in the corresponding month of 2000 mainly due to higher contraction in imports. Export earnings in US dollar terms declined by 19 per cent in October 2001 in contrast to an increase of 8.5 per cent in October 2000. The expenditure on imports declined by 21.2 per cent when compared with October 2000. Export earnings continued to be adversely affected by the slow economic growth in industrial countries which are the main buyers of Sri Lanka’s exports. The declining trend in imports was largely attributable to the surcharge imposed on imports, the low demand arising from the slower economic growth and lower petroleum prices.
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