rade deficit narrows marginally due to lower import growth
Ringing in festive cheer for exporters and policy-makers, goods exports moved to a higher growth trajectory in September, posting a year-on-year increase of 25.67 per cent to $28.61 billion.
All the top 10 commodity groups, ranging from engineering items to textiles, registered an increase in growth.
This is the 13th consecutive month of growth for exports, but the rate of increase, so far, was mostly low.
The trade deficit, too, narrowed in September by 0.95 per cent to $8.98 billion, as the import growth rate was slightly lower than export growth, with gold imports declining by 5 per cent. Imports increased 18.09 per cent in September 2017 to $37.59 billion, according to an official release from the Commerce and Industry Ministry.
“Overall, it has been a fabulous performance and once the GST hurdles are behind us, exports would surely lead the India growth story again,” said Engineering Export Promotion Council India Chairman TS Bhasin.
The acceleration in goods exports is good news for the government which is carrying out a sectoral study to come up with a plan to boost exports sharply and on a sustained basis.
Apart from engineering goods exports, which posted a sharp increase of 44 per cent during the month to $7.32 billion, other sectors that registered growth included gems and jewellery, petro products, organic and inorganic chemicals, readymade garments, drugs and pharmaceuticals, cotton yarn/fabs/made-ups, handloom products, marine products, rice and electronic goods.
Oil imports, at $8.18 billion were 18.4 per cent higher than in September 2016. Non-oil imports, at $29.40 billion, were 17.9 per cent higher. Gold imports came in at $ 1.71 billion.
The trade deficit in the first six months of this fiscal year increased to $72.12 billion compared with $43.35 billion in the first half of 2016-17.