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Trade deficit narrows as imports fall 15%

In Sept, exports decline 2.6% to $34.47 bn from $35.39 bn in Sept 2022; During period, imports drop to $53.84 bn from $63.37 bn

Trade deficit narrows as imports fall 15%

Exports contracted by 2.6 per cent to $34.47 billion in September even as the country’s merchandise trade deficit narrows to $19.37 billion during the month under review, according to the government data released on Friday. Easing commodity prices helped in cutting down the country’s import bill by 15 per cent to $53.84 billion in September, the 10th consecutive month of decline. During April-September this fiscal, exports contracted by 8.77 per cent to $211.4 billion. Imports during the six-month period fell by 12.23 per cent to $326.98 billion, leaving a trade deficit of $115.58 billion. Briefing media on the trade data, Commerce Secretary Sunil Barthwal said that the September figures are reflecting that ‘green shoots’ are visible at exports front despite global challenges.

He expressed hope that in the remaining six-months, the country’s outbound shipments would register positive growth. The contraction which was there in double digits during April, May, June and July, is now in single digits, he said, adding, there is an optimism which we will see in the coming months also. The weekly exports trend during the current month is showing a positive movement, he added.

WTO made a forecast that the global trade will grow only by 0.8 per cent in 2023. Despite this, Barthwal said that India’s exports are doing well.

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