Trade Deficit For FY19 Narrows As March Exports Rise

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oi-Olga Robert

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Exports in the month of March rose to a five-month high of 11 percent from higher growth in pharma, chemicals and engineering sectors. According to official data released by the commerce and industry ministry on Monday, the outbound shipments were at $331 billion for the financial year 2018-19.

Merchandise exports were at $32.55 billion in March 2019 as against $29.32 billion in the same month last year, marking the best growth rate for exports since October 2018, when shipments grew by 17.86 percent.

Imports rose by 1.44 percent to $43.44 billion in the month under review.

Trade Deficit For FY19 Narrows As March Exports Rise

Despite the rise in shipments in March, India’s trade deficit reached a record high of $176 billion for the financial year 2018-19. Exports and imports grew at the same rate, that is 9 percent during the year.

A continuous rise in imports during the year, which saw double-digit level growth in 6 of the last 12 months, had imports soaring to a total high of $507.44 billion. The number is close to $42 billion more than India’s total bill in FY18.

Meanwhile, India’s services exports rose by 5.5 percent to $16.58 billion in February 2019 in comparison to $15.71 billion recorded for the same month a year ago, according to data released by the Reserve Bank on Monday. In January this year, the exports were higher at $17.75 billion.

Services imports for February 2019 fell by 3.3 percent to $9.81 billion, compared to $10.14 billion a year ago. RBI released monthly reports on India’s trade in the services sector.

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