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Exports grow 10% in first half

Mumbai, Nov. 3 (PTI): Exports in the first half of the current fiscal grew 10 per cent in dollar terms compared with 18 per cent in the year-ago period even as the current account of the balance of payments in April-June 2003 showed a deficit after remaining surplus consecutively for the previous six quarters.

In the reporting period, imports rose 21.4 per cent against an increase of 9.2 per cent in the corresponding period last year, according to the mid-term review of the monetary and credit policy released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today.

Oil imports increased 6.3 per cent compared with 12.6 per cent in the year-ago period, it said, adding that non-oil imports increased 28 per cent against 7.8 per cent in the corresponding period last year.

As a result, the policy said, the overall trade deficit at $7.1 billion in April-September was higher than $3.5 billion in the same period last fiscal.

A higher trade deficit this year reflected growth in import demand emanating from a pick-up in economic activity as reflected in higher capital goods imports, it said.

The current account showed a deficit in April-June, it said, adding that the trade deficit (on payment basis) of $5.9 billion was offset to a large extent by private transfers of $4.2 billion.

The RBI also said there was a significant increase of $6.4 billion in net capital inflows comprising mainly foreign investment ($2.8 billion), NRI deposits ($1.7 billion) and external loans ($1.2 billion).

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