New Delhi: India’s merchandise exports contracted for the eighth month in a row in December, dropping by 1.9% to $24.88 billion on a persistent decline in demand for goods made in the country in its traditional markets of the US and Europe.
Imports rose 6.3% to $42.5 billion leading to a trade deficit of $17.7 billion compared with the year-ago $14.7 billion deficit in the same period.
Exports in the first nine months of the financial year contracted 5.5% to $214.1 billion while imports fell 0.71% to $361.3 billion.
During the fiscal year until December, only drugs and pharmaceuticals showed positive growth—with a rise of 10.7%—in the top exporting sectors. Among imports, only petroleum registered growth—of 12.1%—in the same period.
Most sectors showed signs of recovery in December, except for the texiles sector, commerce secretary S.R. Rao said. “We hope this trend continues.”