Exports in Feb up 4.5% to $25.8 bn; trade deficit narrows

Exports grew by 4.5 per cent in February, the lowest expansion in the last four months, to USD 25.8 billion as shipments of engineering, textiles and gems and jewellery declined while trade deficit narrowed to a five-month low of USD 12 billion.

The trade deficit — the difference between imports and exports — stood at USD 9.52 billion in February 2017, as per the data released by the commerce ministry.

Exports growth rate has been steadily declining since November 2017 when it touched a high of 30.5 per cent. The trade gap in September 2017 stood at USD 8.98 billion.

“Exports have been on a positive trajectory since August 2016 to February 2018 except for a temporary setback in October 2017,” the ministry said in a statement.

The country’s merchandise exports are showing continuous positive growth, Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia told.

Imports too rose by 10.4 per cent to USD 37.8 billion during the last month.