Indian exports dive for seventh month

NEW DELHI, June 1, 2009 (AFP) – India’s exports of jewelry, garments and other goods slid 33 percent in April, shrinking for the seventh straight month, hit by a demand slump in major global markets, official data showed Monday. Exports slumped to 10.74 billion dollars in April from 16.08 billion dollars a year ago as the global appetite for made-in-India goods contracted.

The figures came days after the newly re-elected Congress-led government promised more measures to help exporters hard-hit by the recession in developed economies.

But exports account for just 15 percent of gross domestic product in India, shielding the economy from the impact of the worst global downturn since the 1930s Great Depression.

The country logged unexpectedly strong 5.8 percent growth in the final quarter to March 2009, fuelled by aggressive rate cuts and fiscal stimulus measures, prompting analysts to say India’s economy was on the upturn.

Imports slumped in April for the third straight month, falling 36.6 percent to 15.8 billion, reflecting a tumble in world oil prices and easing demand.

The trade deficit for April was five billion dollars, down from 8.7 billion dollars a year ago.

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