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India's Dec trade deficit narrows to $21.4b, exports fall 1.9%

Published on Jan 11, 2013 5:01 PM
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This file photo shows workers climbing up stacked containers at the Thar Dry Port in Sanand in the western Indian state of Gujarat on Nov 12, 2012. India's trade deficit narrowed to US$17.7 billion (S$21.4 billion) in December from US$19.3 billion in November, even after exports fell for the eighth straight month, a trade ministry official said on Friday, Jan 11, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW DELHI (REUTERS) - India's trade deficit narrowed to US$17.7 billion (S$21.4 billion) in December from US$19.3 billion in November, even after exports fell for the eighth straight month, a trade ministry official said on Friday.

Exports totalled U$24.88 billion in December, down 1.9 per cent on year. Imports, however, were up 6.3 per cent at US$42.5 billion.

For the first three quarters of the fiscal year ending in March, exports totalled US$214.1 billion, down 5.5 per cent from a year ago.

The weakness of the export sector, which makes up one-fifth of the Indian economy, has swollen a current account deficit that hit an all time high of 5.4 per cent of gross domestic product in the July-September quarter and has added to pressure on the rupee.