August exports down 9.7% at $22 bn
Falling for the fourth month in a row, growth in exports declined by 9.7% in August to $22.3 billion due to slowdown in Western markets.
Besides, reflecting slowdown in the domestic economy, imports, too, dipped by 5.08% to $SD 38 billion, from $40 billion in August 2011, resulting in a trade deficit of $15.7 billion for the month.
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The decline in the country's shipments comes amid India's economic growth slipping to nine-year low of 6.5% in 2011-12, and subdued industrial output in the first two months of the current fiscal.
However, Commerce Secretary S R Rao said the decline in August is lower than that of the previous month, when the exports contracted by 15%.
"Compared to our export performance in July, there is a slight ray of hope. There is a slight improvement in August. I hope this will give us some confidence that we can make up," Rao told reporters here.
He said the incentives announced in the foreign trade policy (FTP) was the reason for this. The government had extended 2% interest subsidy to exports in the policy besides other benefits.
"There is a slight ray of hope that is coming after dramatic fall in July. Reason is that, the FTP incentives that are being announced perhaps are playing out and yielding fruits," he added.
In April-August, too, the shipment dipped by about six% to $120 billion from $127.6 billion in the same period last year.
During the first five months of the fiscal, imports contracted by 6.2% to $191.1 billion. Trade deficit during the period stood at $71.1 billion.