India’s exports rose for the first time since September, increasing 0.1% to $27.2 billion in December as shipments of drugs and pharmaceuticals, electronics and gems & jewellery went up. Early estimates had suggested that exports were 0.8% lower at $26.9 billion. Latest data released by the commerce department on Friday pegged imports at $42.6 billion, 7.6% higher than a year ago, which was in line with previous estimate.

Due to the revision, it will be the first time since February when exports and imports both are in positive zone, indicating that trade and economic activity seem to be headed towards pre-Covid levels. The change in also means that trade deficit was estimated at $15.4 billion, the highest since January, when it was $15.2 billion.

But economists are drawing comfort from the pick-up in imports, which is seen as a strong confirmation of economic revival, although some attributed it to pent-up demand. Barring crude petroleum, coal, silver, and transport equipment, most major segments reported an increase, according to government estimates. In case of petroleum, the lower value was on account of a fall in prices compared to a year ago.