India Trade March 2016


India: Trade deficit narrows in March

April 18, 2016

Recently released data related to India’s external sector showed that the trade deficit totaled USD 5.1 billion in March, which was a smaller shortfall over the USD 11.4 billion deficit observed in the same month last year. In addition, the March result marked the smallest gap since March 2011. For the 12 months up to March, the trade deficit recorded USD 118.5 billion, which was an improvement from the 124.8 billion gap tallied in the 12 months up to February.

The narrowing in the trade deficit stemmed from imports contracting a notable 21.6% annually in March, which was a significantly more profound drop than the 5.0% plunge tallied in February. The low-oil-price environment has caused the value of India’s imports to drop. Accordingly, oil imports totaled USD 4.8 billion in March, which represented a 35.3% decrease compared to the same month last year.

Meanwhile, exports fell 5.5% in March, which was a smaller fall than February’s 5.7% contraction and marked the best result since December 2014.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect exports to grow 4.3% in FY 2016, reaching USD 283 billion. In FY 2017, the panel sees exports expanding 8.4% to USD 307 billion.

Author: Angela Bouzanis, Senior Economist

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India Trade Chart

India Trade12m March 2016

Note: 12-month sum of trade balance in USD billion and annual variation of the 12-sum of exports and imports in %.
Source: Ministry of Commerce and Industry and FocusEconomics calculations.

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