July export growth slips

India's exports growth moderated sharply in July due to weak consumer demand in its key markets such as the US and Europe, but the country may still achieve the target of $200 billion exports set for the fiscal year to March 2011 . The 13.2% growth is the slowest in the last six months. Exports grew more than 30% in the five preceding months partly due to the base effect, reflecting a sluggish 2009 when exports contracted 5%. Imports grew at a faster rate of 34.3% to $29.17 billion indicating growing manufacturing activity. It increased the trade gap for the month to $12.93 billion. The country’s exports began to recover in November 2009 after a 13-month slump mainly due to more exports to non-traditional markets in Africa, Latin America and West Asia. Although exports registered a growth of 30% to $68.63 billion in the April-July 2010 period, in absolute terms it remained lower than the 2008 levels. Since the traditional markets such as the US, EU and Japan account for the bulk of India’s exports, the government is looking at extending sops to select sectors for exports to such markets. Similar sops that were extended to a host of sectors earlier this year ran out on March 31, 2010. China, however, defied the slack global demand to post a 38.1% growth in July to $145.5 billion. But slowing imports growth raised visions of an economic slowdown in the world’s second largest economy.

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