Troubled economic situation in the U.S., euro zone

Continuing with buoyant growth, India's exports rose by 46.45 per cent to $29.21 billion during June 2011 amid growing concerns that the upward growth could be hit by the troubled economic situation in the U.S. and the European zone in the second-half. Merchandise exports aggregated $19.94 billion in June, 2010.

In May, exports grew by 56.9 per cent year-on-year to $25.9 billion.

Pushed by the spectacular rise in June, exports grew by a hefty 45.7 per cent to $79 billion in the first quarter of the current fiscal, according to the figures released by the Commerce Ministry on Monday.

Most of the sectors posted robust expansion — be it petroleum products, readymade garments, engineering or pharmaceuticals. However, industry players and the Commerce Ministry are concerned about the continued financial crisis in the euro zone and the U.S. These are India's traditional markets and together account for about 35 per cent of the country's exports, which stood at $246 billion in 2010-11.

Sounding a word of caution, Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) President Ramu S. Deora said that export growth was going to continue for another three months till September. The growth trend would not be as good in the third and fourth quarters and would get restricted to around 35-40 per cent. He also expressed concern over high inflation and interest rates.

Though imports grew by 42.46 per cent to $36.8 billion in June, the trade deficit of $7.6 billion was almost half the level of $14.9 billion seen in May. Oil imports increased by 30 per cent to $10.18 billion while non-oil imports by 47.8 per cent to $26.6 billion.

In April-June, 2011-12, inbound shipments rose by 36.2 per cent to $110.6 billion, led by import of $30.5 billion worth of petroleum products. The trade gap during the period stood at $31.6 billion.

During the first quarter, oil imports grew by 18.1 per cent to $30.52 billion from $25.84 billion. Non-oil imports, too, increased by 44.68 per cent to $80 billion from $55.35 billion in April-June, 2010-11.

More In: Economy | Business