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Contracting for the sixth straight month, India’s exports slipped 12.7% to $22.7 billion in August, on account of decline in the shipments of petroleum, leather, engineering goods and gems and jewellery items, according to government data released on Tuesday.

The country’s merchandise imports too declined 26% to $29.47 billion in August, leading to a trade deficit of $6.77 billion, compared with a $13.86 billion deficit a year earlier.

 

Oil imports declined 41.6% to $6.42 billion in the month under review. Gold imports jumped to $3.7 billion in August as against $1.36 billion in August 2019.

Federation of Indian Export Organisations President Sharad Kumar Saraf expressed concern on the dip in figures from labour-intensive sectors of exports, which impacts employment generation. “There is a need to analyse imports as well, as such a steep decline in imports may hamper the industrial recovery in the coming months,” he said.

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