New Delhi, Feb 13 (PTI): India's exports looked up for the first time since May 2012, rising by 0.82 per cent to $25.58 billion in January 2013, against $25.37bn in January 2012.
The improvement in exports has been mainly on account of better performance by engineering goods, textiles and gems and jewellery sectors.
Exports had contracted every month since May 2012.
The trade deficit, which is the difference between imports and exports, however, continued to be cause of concern. It soared to a three-month high of $20 billion, as imports rose by 6.12 per cent to $45.5 billion in the month under review.
During the April-January period of 2012-13, exports declined to $239.6 billion, down 4.86 per cent over the figure for the same period of 2011-12.
“I hope with exports growing marginally in January, it should help us narrow the trade gap at the close of the fiscal,” Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said after launching the Nasscom national summit in Mumbai.
Commerce Secretary S R Rao told reporters: “Export performance in January has shown slightly positive results which is a matter of a bit of happiness and cumulative exports too have shown slight arrest in the fall.”
Rao hoped that the incentive package, which came into force from January, would help the country's exports to “improve significantly” in the coming months.
“In the last couple of months, there is an arrest in the fall of exports. So we wish forward momentum continues and hopefully the additional incentives should result in better traction as we go forward,” he added.