According to government figures released on Wednesday, India’s exports increased by 1.62% in August to $33.92 billion, while the trade deficit more than double to $27.98 billion.

The trade deficit in August 2021 was $11.71 billion. In July, India’s trade imbalance reached a new high of $30 billion. In August of this year, imports increased by 37.28% to $61.9 billion. Exports increased by 17.68% to $193.51 billion between April and August 2022-23. Imports increased by 45.74% to $318 billion over the first five months of this fiscal year.

The trade imbalance increased to $124.52 billion from April to August of the current fiscal year, up from $53.78 billion in the same time last year. “Though August print marks a moderation from the July’s record trade deficit, deficit remains at unsustainably high levels,” Rahul Bajoria, chief India economist, stated.

Forecast for Bajoria In FY22-23, India’s current account deficit (CAD) will increase to $115 billion (3.3% of GDP). “With trade deficit staying at uncomfortably elevated levels, we acknowledge the upside risk to our current account deficit forecasts, despite recent fall in commodity prices,” he added.

“India’s trade deficit contracted… driven by a lower oil trade deficit as the oil imports contracted more than exports,” Goldman Sachs economist Santanu Sengupta stated. Oil imports fell $3.5 billion to $17.6 billion in August, down from $21.1 billion in July. In August 2022, India’s total exports (merchandise and services) increased by 6.75% year on year to $57.47 billion, while total imports increased by 33.15% to $75.84 billion.

Non-petroleum and non-gems & jewelry exports totaled $24.88 billion, a 1.64% decrease from the $25.29 billion recorded in August 2021. Imports of the same were $37.53 billion in August 2022, up 40.63% from $26.69 billion the previous year.

A country has a trade surplus or a positive trade balance if it exports more than it imports; a country has a trade deficit or a negative trade balance if it imports more than it exports. Trade experts and economists commonly criticize the premise that bilateral trade imbalances are fundamentally undesirable.

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