New Delhi: Hit by slowdown in the western markets, India's export growth dropped to 3.2 percent in April, but a sharp deceleration in import expansion resulted in trade deficit narrowing to USD 13.2 billion, the lowest in a year.
The drop in the balance of trade (BoT) should reduce pressure on the rupee which has lost value by about 15 percent against the US dollar since September, 2011.
Exports in April, the first month of the fiscal 2012-13 amounted to USD 24.5 billion, as per the provisional figures released by Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar here on Thursday.
Imports for the month grew by 3.8 per cent to USD 37.9, also lowest in a year.
While the pace of export expansion dropped, the silver line is that there was annual accretion in the net value, as opposed to deceleration in March when the shipments contracted by 5.7 percent.
For the fiscal as a whole, Khullar said, "we should be lucky to get a growth rate of 10-15 percent...The situation in Europe is disheartening".
He said the export data shows,"there are serious demand problem and constraints (in the western markets". releasing the provisional data.
Though these are early days, Khullar said "If deceleration in imports continues, the BoT pressure will be lower than last year and if it will stay at USD 13 billion for the remainder period of the year, then we will end the year with USD 156-160 billion".
In 2011-12, the country's trade deficit jumped to USD 185 billion, highest ever in the history.
However, economists read slackening of imports as a sign of a slowdown.



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