New Delhi: India's exports recorded the slowest pace of growth in three months, 4.2 percent year-on- year, at USD 24.6 billion in February due to the global slowdown.
    
In sharp contrast, imports grew at a faster rate of 20.6 percent year-on-year to USD 39.7 billion in February, translating into a trade deficit of USD 15.1 billion.
    
Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar has expressed concerns over the ballooning trade deficit, saying that since October exports are decelerating faster than imports.
    
From a peak of 82 percent in July, export growth slipped to 44.25 percent in August, 36.36 percent in September and 10.8 percent in October, 3.8 percent in November 2011.

However, exports grew 6.7 percent in December, and over 10 percent in January. During the April-February period in 2011-12, exports aggregated to USD 267.4 billion, a year-on-year growth of 21.4 percent, thanks to the surge witnessed in the early months of the fiscal.
    
According to experts the country's exports would be around USD 292-USD 298 billion during 2011-12. During the 11-month period, imports increased by 29.4 percent to USD 434.1 billion. Trade gap during the period stood at USD 166.7 billion.
    
Oil imports in February grew by 39.4 percent to USD 12.65 billion from USD 9 billion in the same period last year. Non-oil imports increased by 13.5 percent to USD 27.12 billion.

(Agencies)