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Merchandise Trade Deficit In January Hit Lowest At $17.75 Billion: Report According to the report, the trade deficit for April-January widened to $232.95 billion from $153.78 billion a year ago

By Teena Jose

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Based on the export and import data released by the government on Wednesday, it stated that India's merchandise trade deficit in January hit its lowest in a year at $17.75 billion, down from $23.76 billion in the previous month, according to a Reuters report.

The data reportedly revealed that January merchandise exports were $32.91 billion, compared with $34.48 billion in December, while imports fell to $50.66 billion from $58.24 billion. According to the report, the trade deficit for April-January widened to $232.95 billion from $153.78 billion a year ago.

Imports contracted 3.6% Y-o-Y to $50.66 billion. The decline was sharper on a sequential basis at 13%, which was due to a combination of factors such as the government's curbs on non-essential imports, weak domestic demand, and easing commodity prices, the report added.

The report further noted that, India's merchandise exports witnessed annual contraction in 19 out of 30 sectors in January. Key export items that witnessed a decline in January include gems and jewellery (19.28%), drugs and pharmaceuticals (2.62%), chemicals (4.57%), engineering goods (9.8%) and readymade garments (3.48%). Among sectors that experienced growth include electronic goods (55.54%) and petroleum products (8%).

A Sakthivel, the president of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), in a news report was quoted as saying, "Though the coming months are going to be challenging, unless both global economic growth and geopolitical situation improves drastically. However, we will be on course to cross the previous year's export target quite easily, touching almost $440-445 billion with growth of over 4-5% this fiscal year,"

Teena Jose

News Desk Reporter with Entrepreneur India

Teena is a post graduate in financial journalism. She has an avid interest in content creation, digital media and fashion.

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