India's trade deficit sharply narrowed in September to a six-month low, figures released by the trade secretary on Monday showed, but experts cautioned against reading too much into the data.
Asia's third-largest economy's trade deficit in September stood at $9.12 billion, Rahul Khullar told reporters, compared with August's $13.06 billion, which was a 23-month high. It was the narrowest deficit since March's $7.83 billion figure.
"This is an aberration. If you see in the medium term, there is a pressure on the rupee to appreciate," said N.R. Bhanumurthy, an economist with New Delhi-based think-tank National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.
"The trend will be around $14 billion to $15 billion deficit (each month)," Bhanumurthy said.
A rise in the local unit tends to shrink exports as they become less competitive and increase imports as the country's purchasing power rises, widening the trade deficit.
(Pictures by Reuters)