India's June import decline reflects further weakness in demand and activity
By Aftab Ahmed and Manoj Kumar NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's imports declined to their lowest level in four months in June to $40.29 billion, down 9% from a year ago, indicating weakening consumption in Asia's third largest economy, economists said. The Indian economy grew at 5.8% in the January-March period, a five-year low, hurt by weak consumption and tepid private investment.
By Aftab Ahmed and Manoj Kumar
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's imports declined to their lowest level in four months in June to $40.29 billion, down 9% from a year ago, indicating weakening consumption in Asia's third largest economy, economists said.
The Indian economy grew at 5.8% in the January-March period, a five-year low, hurt by weak consumption and tepid private investment. The latest data added to fears that the economy may have slowed further in April-June.
In the last two quarters, the Indian economy has seen a sharp fall in sales of automobiles, petroleum products and consumer goods.
India's oil imports during June fell 13.33% to $11.03 billion, partly due to low oil prices, while gold imports surged 13% to $2.70 billion.
Imports excluding gold and oil also fell 9% to $26.57 billion in June 2019, the data showed.
"This (falling imports) is not a positive sign ... this is a serious kind of slowdown," said Rupa Rege Nitsure, chief economist at L&T Financial Holdings.
India's merchandise exports
Economists linked the weakness in exports to a trade war between the United States and China and the protectionist measures taken by countries.
"(The) de-growth in exports is a reflection of sluggish global demand and rising tariff war ... US-China trade war and developments in Iran further aggravated the problem of the world economy," Sharad Kumar Saraf, president of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations, said in a statement.
Partial shutdowns at Reliance Industries
Exports of commodities, excluding oil and precious metals, also fell 4.86% to $19.15 billion in June from a year ago.
(Reporting by Aftab Ahmed and Manoj Kumar; Editing by Kevin Liffey)
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