Deficit widens as non-oil imports rise

NEW DELHI, NOV. 1. Exports in September have slumped, indicating that the terrorist attacks in the U.S. and the consequent fall in consumer spending have already begun to impact the Indian economy. There was a dip of 8.6 per cent in export growth during the month, bringing the average growth during the first half of the current fiscal (April-September) to 1.95 per cent.

The trade deficit has simultaneously widened to $4.96 billion as a result of imports growing by 1.8 per cent over this period. Oil imports, however, have dipped by 8.1 per cent largely due to the softening of international prices over the last few months.

According to the latest trade data released today by the Commerce Ministry, total exports from April to September are estimated at $20.96 billion as against $21.38 billion over the same period last year. Total imports are valued at $25.93 billion against $25.47 billion during the same period in the previous year.

Oil imports, during the first six months, have been estimated at $7.63 billion which is 8.1 per cent lower than the $8.3 billion worth of such imports in the corresponding period last year.

Non-oil imports have been estimated at $18.3 billion which is 6.6 per cent higher than the level of such imports valued at $17.17 billion during the corresponding period last year.

The trade deficit during April-September this year is estimated at $4.96 billion having expanded from the level of $4.09 billion over the same period last year, according to the official data.

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