Trade deficit narrows to $9.8 bn in January


LATEST NEWS – Rising for the fifth straight month, merchandise exports grew by 4.32% in January as compared to the 5.7% rise seen in the previous month of December.

Exports registered $ 22.11 billion in January after reaching a 21-month high in absolute terms in December to $23.88 billion, according to data issued by the Commerce and Industry Ministry on Wednesday.

However, imports grew by 10.70% to $31.95 billion, the highest pace seen in more than two years, on account of a sharp uptick in international crude prices.

This also led to higher realization from petroleum exports, which rose by nearly 29% in January, after rising by 8.2% in December. Among other major exchange earners, export of engineering goods rose by 11.89% while ready made garments rose by 2.13%.

Total exports for the financial year up to January, the first ten months, touched $220 billion, a marginal 1.09% higher than the corresponding period in the previous year.

Rising protectionist measures globally had resulted in international trade growth estimates by the World Trade Organisation falling to the range of 1.8% to 3% for 2017. Earlier, the intergovernmental organisation had revised its estimates for growth in 2016 to just 1.7%, the slowest since the financial crisis of 2009.

“Going by the current trend, we are expected to reach around $270 billion this fiscal.” S C Ralhan, President, FIEO said. READ MORE


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