India's imports grew faster for the first time in several months, expanding at 21.7 per cent to $39.5 billion in October 2011, while export growth plummeted to 10.8 per cent year-on-year at $19.9 billion during the month.
With imports rising at a faster rate, the trade gap in October stood at $19.6 billion, taking the country's gross trade deficit so far this fiscal to $93.7 billion. At this rate the trade deficit for the full fiscal (2011-12) is expected to cross $150 billion, commerce secretary Rhul Khullar said today.
''It is something to be very worried about because at this rate you are going to breach the $150-billion mark,'' Khullar said.
India's exports, for the first seven months of the current financial year (April-October 2011-12), stood at $179.8 billion, rising 46 per cent - helped by better performance in the previous months of the current fiscal.
The growth in exports, although slow, was aided by an 89.6 per cent growth in export of engineering goods, which stood at $51.4 billion during April-October 2011. Other sectors that showed good performance include: petroleum and oil products 51 per cent ($31.9 billion), cotton 22 per cent ($3.99 billion), electronics 50 per cent ($6.4 billion), readymade garments 31 per c4nt ($7.7 billion).
Imports during the seven months grew 31 per cent year-on-year to $273.5 billion, leaving a trade gap of $93.7 billion.