Exports hit 15-month high
Growing for the second straight month, India's exports touched $14.6 billion in December, the highest in the past 15 months, helped by an uptick in demand for merchandise in the western markets. "We have registered exports of $14.6 billion in December," commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma told reporters. The December growth is about 16% from a year ago, while the expansion is about 10% compared to shipments in November this fiscal. The two straight months of growth comes after exports fell for 13 months in a row since October 2008. Sharma said going ahead the momentum would be maintained. He, however, added that exporters are yet to recover from the setback of the past 13 months. Sectors like engineering, auto components and pharma helped exports rise again. Analysts said December growth has come about on a low base last year when the global demand dropped sharply due to the global recession. The December figure reflects the best ever performance since August 2008 when exporters shipped goods worth $16 billion.