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Key Economic Trends

  • In 2008, U.S. merchandise trade with India grew by 8 percent, a slower rate than during the previous three years, due primarily to the slowing world economy. The U.S. merchandise trade deficit with India increased by 13 percent after declining significantly in 2007.
  • U.S. exports to India benefitted from continued economic growth in India. Chemicals and related products, primarily fertilizers, accounted for the largest absolute increase in U.S. exports, due to the wider use of modern agricultural practices in India and higher global fertilizer prices. U.S. exports of minerals and metals and energy-related products also grew significantly. The growth of exports in these sectors was offset by a significant decline in exports of transportation equipment, as aircraft deliveries to Indian airlines declined.
  • Although U.S. imports from India increased in 2008, the rate of growth was the slowest recorded during the most recent five-year period, due to the slowing U.S. economy. Chemicals and related products (primarily medicinal chemicals) and minerals and metals (primarily steel mill products) accounted for most of the increase in imports, attributable to higher U.S. demand for generic drugs and contracts awarded to Indian line-pipe producers to supply energy pipelines in the southern United States. The import growth in these sectors was offset by a large decrease in imports of miscellaneous manufactures, primarily precious jewelry and related articles, as U.S. demand decreased due to the poor economic climate.

Trade Shifts in 2008 from 2007

  • U.S. trade deficit: Increased by $1.0 billion (13 percent) to $8.5 billion
  • U.S. exports: Increased by $1.0 billion (6 percent) to $17.3 billion
  • U.S. imports: Increased by $2.0 billion (8 percent) to $25.9 billion

Other Government Resources

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency: World Factbook

U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration: Country Analysis Brief - India

U.S. Department of State: Background Note - India