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May Trade Deficit Widens On High Gold Imports

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Trade deficit in May widened to $20.1 billion from $17.8 billion a month ago, a trade ministry official said, on high imports of cheaper gold, increasing pressure on the current account balance.
India has been struggling to control the current account deficit that hit an all-time high of 6.7 per cent of GDP in the December quarter. The deficit has exacerbated the fall of the Indian rupee against the dollar in the recent sell-off in emerging currencies.
Gold and silver imports rose nearly 90 per cent year-on-year to $8.4 billion last month, slower than an annual 138 per cent surge in April, as retail consumers in the world's biggest gold importer tried to take advantage of a sharp fall in global prices.
Overall, merchandise imports rose about 7 per cent to $44.65 billion, the trade ministry said. Exports fell 1.1 per cent from a year earlier to $24.51 billion, the first annual fall in five months.