Mumbai/New Delhi: India’s exports increased to a 15-month high in December as recovery in the global economy boosted demand for the nation’s products.
Overseas shipments surged to $14.6 billion (Rs66,284 crore today) after rising 18.2% from a year earlier in the previous month, the first increase in 14 months, commerce minister Anand Sharma told reporters in Mumbai on Monday.
Exports are rebounding after an average 17.4% decline in the past year.
Bullish note: Sharma says stimulus measures helped exporters bear the impact of fall in global demand. PIB
A revival in exports may boost production at companies in India and bolster growth in Asia’s third biggest economy, which expanded 7.9% in the three months to 30 September from a year earlier, the quickest pace in six quarters.
A separate report on Sunday showed China’s exports climbed 17.7% in December, the first gain in 14 months, as Asian economies recover from the worst worldwide recession since the 1930s.
“We shall sustain this positive trend in the current quarter,” Sharma said.
The government will announce more stimulus measures for some sectors on Tuesday, he said.
Stimulus measures worth over $2 trillion worldwide and record low interest rates are reviving demand for clothes made by Gokaldas Exports Ltd and cars produced by Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, which makes half the cars sold in India.
Overseas sales of cars made by Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai Motor India Ltd and others rose 39.3% in December from a year earlier.
Total passenger vehicle exports jumped 40.4%, compared with a 15.6% gain in the previous month, according to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.
Various stimulus measures announced by the government have helped exporters bear the impact of the global demand slump, Sharma said. The government injected fiscal and monetary stimulus worth over 12% of the gross domestic product between September 2008 and April last year.
The US returned to growth in the third quarter after a year-long contraction, and France, Germany and Japan have exited recession.
The American economy, India’s second biggest export market, expanded 2.2% in the July-September quarter.
India is boosting its efforts to increase overseas sales by developing trade agreements with other countries.
In August, India signed a free-trade accord with South Korea and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations as it attempts to reduce its dependence on the US and Europe, which account for around 40% of the country’s exports.
India in August also announced tax refunds for exporters to explore new markets in Africa and Latin America.