Today's Paper

Trade deficit narrows, but exports continue to fall

Though the trade deficit has narrowed, exports and imports have contracted for the sixth month in a row in May.

With countries such as the U.S. and China facing growth challenges, even the export outlook remains hazy. A substantial reduction in the oil import bill, due to declining international prices, primarily helped overall imports contract.

Exports stood at $22.3 billion in May against $27.99 billion in the year-ago period, reporting a 20.2 per cent fall in dollar terms.

However, the fall was marginal when compared with the $22.1 billion in April. Imports during May were at $32.75 billion, down 16.5 per cent on the figures in the corresponding month last year. It was marginally lower than the $33.05 billion in April 2015. The trade deficit narrowed to $10.4 billion in May from $11 billion in April and $11.2 billion in May 2014.