India's exports recorded the slowest pace of growth in three months, 4.2 per cent year-on-year, at $24.6 billion in February due to the global slowdown.
In sharp contrast, imports grew at a faster rate of 20.6 per cent year-on-year to $39.7 billion in February, translating into a trade deficit of $15.1 billion.
Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar has expressed concerns over the ballooning trade deficit, saying that since October exports are decelerating faster than imports.
From a peak of 82 per cent in July, export growth slipped to 44.25 per cent in August, 36.36 per cent in September and 10.8 per cent in October, 3.8 per cent in November 2011.
However, exports grew 6.7 per cent in December, and over 10 per cent in January.
During the April-February period in 2011-12, exports aggregated to $267.4 billion, a year-on-year growth of 21.4 per cent, thanks to the surge witnessed in the early months of the fiscal.
According to experts, the country's exports would be around $292 billion - $298 billion during 2011-12.
During the 11-month period, imports increased by 29.4 per cent to $434.1 billion. Trade gap during the period stood at $166.7 billion.
Oil imports in February grew by 39.4 per cent to $12.65 billion from $9 billion in the same period last year.
Non-oil imports increased by 13.5 per cent to $27.12 billion.