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IN - Slowdown signs - Sri Lankan vehicle imports down in August

Latest official data showed that vehicle imports to Sri Lanka in August 2009, measured by the total number of new registration of motor vehicles fell by 22.2% to 16293 from a year ago.

According to central bank statistics, in the eight months to August total vehicle imports were down by 31.2% to 124,822 as compared with the same period in 2008.

In August 2009, the number of buses imported fell by 24.5% to 80, cars fell 66.8% to 423 and trucks and other goods transport vehicles fell 24.9% to 779 from the previous year.

The number of three wheeled auto rickshaws imported, mainly from India was down 28.6% to 2713 in August 2009 from a year ago while motorcycle imports fell 10.2% to 11,274. However, imports of some types of vehicles were higher than in July 2009, indicating a recovery was underway.

The central bank has said it expects the economy, which slowed down sharply in the first half of the year, as it was affected by global recession, to pick up speed in the second half.

The growth forecasts were raised after government forces defeated Tamil Tiger separatists in May, ending the 30 year ethnic conflict and raising hopes of an economic revival.

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