Exports up 2.44% in Feb; trade deficit narrows

Marginal 2.44 per cent increase in exports as well as lower imports of gold and petroleum products in February significantly narrowed the country's trade deficit to USD 9.6 billion, according to data released by the commerce ministry on Friday.

India's merchandise exports rose to USD 26.67 billion in February from USD 26.03 per cent in the year-ago month mainly on account of higher shipments in sectors such as pharmaceutical, engineering and electronics.

Imports declined by 5.4 per cent to USD 36.26 billion in the last month, narrowing the trade deficit to USD 9.6 billion.

The gap between imports and exports was USD 12.3 billion in February 2018, and USD 14.73 billion in January 2019.

As per the data, the decline in imports was mainly on account of sharp decline in inward shipments of gold and petroleum products.

While the import of gold fell by about 11 per cent to USD 2.58 billion in February as against USD 2.89 billion in the corresponding month last fiscal, inward shipments of petroleum products were down by nearly 8 per cent to USD 9.37 billion.

(with news agency inputs)