India’s trade deficit in March was the highest in four months, at $11.79 billion, as exports continued to fall, underscoring risks for growth prospects in Asia’s third largest economy.
A plunge in global prices of crude oil, by nearly half since last June, has slashed India’s import bill, making for a less worrisome trade deficit, despite a drop in exports in recent months.
That could be about to change, with policymakers and businesses fretting that weak foreign demand could torpedo Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s globe-trotting ‘Make in India’ campaign to boost export-oriented investment.
Since winning power last May, Modi has visited major economies, including the United States, Japan, France, Germany and Canada, and set a goal of doubling exports to $900 billion over the next four years.
Annual figures published on Friday for the full fiscal year that ended in March showed merchandise exports declined 1.2% to $310.5 billion, while imports were down 0.6% at $447.6 billion.