University Of Bergamo Study Finds Over 75% Of Home Exchangers Agree “Most People Trustworthy”

For the first time, a detailed profile is available of the expanding demographic of home exchange travelers. The survey finds that the industry itself is making a deep impact on society. According to the researchers, “people are turning more and more to models of consumption that emphasize community over selfishness,” and home exchange “may help to make our societies work better towards a sustainable future.”

With 93% of respondents satisfied with their experience and 81% having swapped homes more than once, the future also looks bright for home exchange. No longer just looking for an inexpensive travel option, home exchangers possess a deep cultural curiosity (98% declare an interest in cultural heritage and 84% visit museums and nature parks).

While a savvy breed of traveler (with 62% stating a high level of education), home exchangers also represent a wide cross-section of the traveling public. For example, the typical home exchange participant travels as a family (49% of them with children) and comes from across five continents, with the USA, France, Spain, Canada and Italy being the top five countries of residency.

Fair trade food (63%) and organic food (73%) are important to home exchangers, and 69% prepare their own meals while traveling, taking advantage of their access to a fully equipped kitchen. When not on the road, they are active contributors to their communities, with 59% reporting that they participate in community services, wildlife preservation, youth services, cultural preservation or animal welfare.

Given the strong sense of trust found among respondents (75% agree that “most people are trustworthy”), collaborative consumption and home exchange should continue to grow in popularity. As stated in the survey:

Swapping houses is one of the most significant boundaries of modern tourism, because it incorporates some of the dynamics that characterize the tourist of the new millennium: the increasingly felt desire to travel several times a year, even with limited budgets, the need to organize tailor-made trips as personalized as possible and the desire to make the trip an authentic experience… not only to know a new country with all its attractions, but also to immerse yourself in a new culture”

About the Researchers at the University of Bergamo

Francesca Forno, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Sociology of Consumption, is also Director of the CORES LAB (Research Group on Consumption, Networks and Practices of Sustainable Economies).

Roberta Garibaldi, Assistant Professor of Marketing and Tourism Marketing, is also a member of CeSTIT (Centro studi per il turismo e l’interpretazione del territorio).

The study was conducted from April to May 2013, surveying 46,000 HomeExchange.com members with an unprecedented answer rate of 16% (7,000 respondents).

About HomeExchange.com

Started in 1992 by Ed Kushins, HomeExchange.com has evolved into the largest and fastest growing online home exchange travel company in the world. This year their 46,000+ Members will make over 75,000 home swaps across 154 countries. HomeExchange.com makes it easy to plan and enjoy a home exchange vacation in almost any country, city or area of interest and offers travelers a memorable, authentic ‘live like a local’ experience. The site is available in 16 different languages. HomeExchangeGold.com, serving the luxury market, launched in 2012.

Sales at Hypermart Selling Well, the Sun Gets Rp 63 Billion Profit

PT Matahari Putra Prima Tbk (MPPA) recorded a rise in net income during the first quarter of 2013 to Rp 63.2 billion. The figure was up 53.96% of the net profit the same period the previous year which only Rp 29 billion.

The company’s net profit increase was supported by higher revenues in the first quarter of 2013 which reached Rp 2.6 trillion, up 13.04% from the same period revenue last year amounted to Rp 2.3 trillion.

Acquisition of the company’s revenue is contributed full of Matahari Food Division (MFD), which is more than 90% is the result of the Hypermart.

This performance can not be directly compared with last year’s performance, due to the divestiture of assets / non-core business at the end of 2012 ago.

Since its launch in 2004 Hypermart, MFD scored a CAGR growth rate of 27.9%, which is the core strength of the Company’s growth and future prospects.

Operating profit also rose 32.2% to USD 74.6 billion from USD 56.4 billion last year. EBITDA reached USD 165 billion.

MPPA now recorded net interest income of USD 6.9 billion in the first quarter of 2013, higher than net interest expense of Rp 5.6 billion last year. This is due to lower interest expense of Rp 38.3 billion from Rp 62.7 billion last year, in line with the Company’s plan for the payment of the debt from the results obtained from the divestment of non-core end of last year.

Throughout the first quarter of 2013, the company has opened 2 new Hypermart stores located in Jakabaring, Palembang and Ambon.

New outlets Jakabaring further strengthen market dominance Hypermart in West Sumatra, while new outlets Ambon, which is a second outlet in the Maluku islands, also further strengthen market penetration and expansion Hypermart landing in eastern Indonesia.

In 2013, the Hypermart plans to open 20 new outlets across Indonesia.

“It makes us a hypermarket operator with the highest growth rates. Hypermart We will deliver the 100th will be operated at the end of 2013 and will be the largest and leading hypermarket retailer in Indonesia,” said Benjamin Mailool MPPA President in his press conference, in Jakarta, Monday (06/03/2013).

In the same period, MPPA also welcome Temasek Holding a significant shareholder with a plan to have a 26.1% ownership stake in the MPPA.

Together with PT Multipolar Tbk (MLPL) as the majority shareholder with a 50.2% stake, MPPA will get a more solid support from shareholders in its aim to develop the retail business forward.

“We are proud to see MPPA still carve out a good performance in the first quarter of 2013 despite having to operate in a challenging market environment,” said Benjamin.

In addition, the divestment of non-core as well as the successful participation as a strategic shareholder Temasek increasingly bring MPPA achieve its mission to be the No. 1 modern FMCG retailer in Indonesia in the next short period.

“MPPA is a leading modern FMCG retailer in Indonesia, which has the widest network of stores by 82 hypermarkets, 28 supermarkets, 80 pharmacy outlets that operate in more than 52 cities across Indonesia,” he said.

Three options for the sugar mills Kigumas

Sugar Sugar Factory Industrial Society in the village of rewards, Gondanglegi District, Malang, East Java, has not operated in accordance with expectations, but construction costs are not small. Malang Regent Rendra Krishna prepared three options that will be taken to the rescue.

“There are three options to be offered to the continuation of the sugar mill, but until now still not sure which option will be selected district government,” said Renda Krishna in Malang, Friday.

Three options for the fate of Sugar Industrial Estate Society (Kigumas) which was built in 2003 it is whether it will be sold, or donated to community cooperation. Which option will be taken subject to approval by the board of the district government.

Further Rendra said a number of attempts have been made by the regency of Malang, including conducting due diligence and legal opinions in 2012. Currently also being conducted appraisal (valuation) to calculate how much the value of the actual building Kigumas.

He was admitted to the present PT Kigumas previously built with the hope to contribute to local revenue (PAD) and improve the welfare of sugarcane farmers, it is still not operating as expected.

In fact, the Renda, the condition lasts long enough. Moreover, after the emergence of case law in the area of ​​industrial projects plantation society (kimbun) which spread to PT Kigumas, for being one of the evidence in the case.

“We hope this problem has a solution soon so Kigumas can operate according to expectations and objectives in its development,” said Renda.

Chairman of Malang Regency Saso previous day also questioned the handling and assets that do not generate revenue Kigumas at all, even the condition of buildings and equipment gilingnya also “stalled”.

Kigumas Sugar Factory which was inaugurated by President Megawati Sukarnoputri to-5 was built starting in 2001 with a budget of Rp30 billion from the budget revenue and expenditure (budget) Malang.

Kigumas initially built to accommodate the farmers who harvest sugar cane annually excess production, so it must be sent to a number of areas.

Kigumas development on an area of ​​11 thousand square meters that can be targeted return on investment (BEP) after one year of operation. Initial design is able to produce sugar Kigumas super category one with a production capacity of 250 TCD.

Selling Fitri Cake, from 200 so Rp80 Million Profit

Work became a regular employee with a mediocre salary, make this a husband and wife and rack my brain thinking how to meet the needs of the household as the prices of essential commodities are at all times always increase.

The wife who like to cook and love to make cookies had the idea to make an effort to channel his hobby with a small pastries that will be deposited in a stall near the in-laws’ house Lanteng region Agung, South Jakarta.

In 2007 the husband and wife named Hendra named Risky Alsany thinking about how to develop the dry cake business to be more developed. Because the cookies are deposited in the stalls near the in-laws house only profit only Rp100-Rp200 per one cake.

However, because the spirit was high and both partners want to widen his efforts, little by little advantages that relatively small savings and make money Rp250 thousand.

? “When deposited in the shop anyway luckily Rp100-Rp200 the same cake but my wife in the tube until around Rp250 thousand, I say why not continue to try to expand marketing, not just in the stall and eventually deposited in a cooperative where I work, it continues walk up to a year, in 2008, “said Hendra told Okezone, as she tells the story of a successful businessman pastries.

The wife who works as a teacher in an English play group Bintaro, where as a faithful husband, who every evening Hendra always pick up his wife from Sudirman, which is the office where she worked towards Bintaro on a motorbike and return home to the Supreme Lanteng .

“Rain, traffic jams and fatigue has become my daily meals. As family who still mediocre, although double my income but it is still there mortgage installments sister college and department of motor vehicles are still concerned,” confidante.

? While the holy month of Ramadan comes, Hendra and his wife decided to make cookies widths. Given the wife who loves to make cakes, of Hendra to support his wife very badly.

Through Hendra expertise in digital marketing, he began a guerrilla in the virtual world, through Facebook. Alhamdulillah, through hard work, when it was very unusual because dry cake merchandise selling up to 156 jars.

“Despite struggling home office to the supermarket to buy ingredients for cakes and cookies jar and keep the oven to stay up hours 1:00 to 03:00 pm, wake up to dawn, with the capital savings are deposited into selling cake stalls,” he said.

Having accumulated cash funds amounting to Rp1, 8 million from the sale of dry cake. Hendra with his wife kept turning his brain to re-develop the business.

“I’m not one to keep quiet even while working but the brain continues to spin about what ya after Lebaran business that still exist. Because if only for a moment Lebaran cookies alone,” said Hendra.

? Finally the second business opportunity came, her cousin who lives in Depok then resigned from her job in Sanyo, which is Cimanggis business expert. Cousins ​​asked combine business with capital to do business Moslem then deposited a total capital of 500 thousand to Rp 1 million to 20 piece Muslim dress.

“I take 10 pieces he took 10 pieces. ‘Been there you marketed’, but I was confused too Mandarinnya, future sales guy Moslem girl. Already wet but subside after abstinence sail, via Facebook and blog, I re-marketed Moslem , “said Hendra.

On his new business, he expressed in the first month turnover reached 950 thousand, and in the second month to Rp1, 9 million and turned in monthly turnover is always up. It turns out marketing through social networks like Facebook and assisted the business blog more leverage. Given the over-selling sales through cyberspace, he tried to re-sell the business to create their own web-bajumuslimah.com bersitus clothes.

“Buy a domain and hosting, the seventh month of my turnover is above Rp 5 million per month,” said Hendra.

? Looking turnover growing at that time he told his wife to quit working for the care of the merchandise to customer service and Hendra himself as a doubles team marketing and courier.?

“At that time my wife tells me where sufficient turnover still 5 million to the turnover will continue whether or fall. I said, ‘yes I have run it once while working, concurrently CS, marketing’, “he explained.

“Entering the tenth month, the turnover of Rp15 million through mid-2009 when it was around. New at Rp15 million turnover at the top of my wife want to burn the ship stopped working, and be customer service in the business, and during Eid in 2009 our turnover penetrate up to Rp70- 80 million with the increasing number of our agencies outside the region and even from abroad, “he concluded.

Two Consecutive Years Sharp Losses, Now it Reaches Rp 51 Trillion.

Japanese electronics giant, Sharp, posted a loss for two consecutive years. The company also intends to depose the CEO who was installed a year ago.

Sharp lost 545.3 billion yen (USD 51.3 billion) in the fiscal year ending March 2013. The loss swelled pretty big compared to losses in the previous year in the same period a year earlier 376 billion yen.

Despite high losses, Sharp sure to be back next year to make a profit

“We’re sorry we’ve suffered substantial losses in two consecutive years,” said Sharp Director Tetsuo Onishi after reporting financial results to the public as quoted by AFP on Tuesday (05/14/2013).

Sharp is currently undergoing a restructuring of the company, one of them with layoffs (layoffs) with thousands of employees. In fact, the company will also depose Takashi Okuda from the post of CEO replaced by Kozo Takahashi.

Though Okuda recently served as CEO of Sharp in April last year. After stepping down, Okuda served as commissioner will, his last position before retiring in habits of the Japanese.

This loss occurs due to high operating expenses and the company’s sales plummeted, chiefly in the television division. The television division turnover has fallen very deep.

“Our mobile phone sales also fell, due to lack of raw materials in the first half of last year,” he said.

Total sales of Sharp at the end of March 2013 reached 2.48 trillion yen, up from the same period last year 2.46 trillion. Next year, Sharp predict could reach 5 billion yen profit.

“We had anticipated that the overall business situation this year is full of uncertainty,” he said.

Ancol turnover of 2 billion more print

Entertainment venues Ancol, North Jakarta, reap a turnover of more than 2 billion on the second day of Eid al-Fitr 1434 AH which fell on Friday, August 9, 2013.

According to the PR Ancol, Ari Kurniawan, the revenue came from about 50 thousand visitors who thronged the Jaya Ancol amusement park.

“For the entrance fee alone Rp17.500 Ancol. Assume there are 50 thousand already Rp1 billion,” Ari said in Jakarta on Friday.

Further Ari mentions that 6 thousand of visitors come to enjoy the Ancol park rides or play Fantasy Theme Park World (Dufan).

“The entry fee Dufannya reached Rp250 thousand, multiplied by six thousand additional R1 billion already,” he said.

Ari mentions that most existing visitors thronged the arenas like Beach Bende Ancol beach, Beach Pool, and Beach Carnival.

“Half of the visitors it meets the coast. Therefore, since last year we added two new beaches that Bende and Ancol Beach,” he said.

According to the monitoring BETWEEN, many visitors who spread the mat or just playing in the water along the beach Ancol. Most of the visitors are families who brought along his children and relatives.

Slightly turnover, Profit Drops 54% In fact XL

PT XL Axiata Tbk (EXCL) correction suffers 54% profit in the first half of 2013 to Rp 670 billion from Rp 1.46 trillion. The company’s revenue edged up 1%.

XL recorded net income of Rp 10.3 trillion in the first half of this year, from Rp 10.2 trillion in the previous position. The rise in revenue driven by increased data service revenues by 13%.

“Our performance this quarter marks our success to turn things around after a decline in the previous two quarters,” said President Director of XL Hasnul Suhaimi, in a press release on Thursday (01/08/2013).

Until the end of the first half of 2013, the XL has spent Rp 4 trillion for infrastructure investment in the data. A combination of internal funds and debt.

XL has signed a new loan agreement in U.S. dollars with Standard Chartered Bank in May 2013 for U.S. $ 50 million. Meanwhile, during the first half of this 2013 also, the amount of debt XL increased to Rp 17.1 trillion from Rp 12.7 trillion in the previous year.

“XL will remain focused on data services given the growing use of data rapidly increasing contribution to company revenues. During the first six months of this year, data revenue accounted for 22% of total revenue, compared to 19% last year, “he added.

PTPP get New Contract Rp 9.5 Trillion

PT PP Tbk (PTPP) to new contracts worth Rp 9.5 trillion as of June 2013. The new contract is 2.5 times higher than the same period of the contract in the previous year.

“This acquisition nearly 50% against the target of a new contract this year from Rp 19.7 trillion,” said Corporate Secretary of PT PP Betty Ariana in a statement on Tuesday (07/16/2013).

With the acquisition of this new contract the company’s order book as of June 2013 reached Rp 25.3 trillion. This year the company is targeting sales of USD 10.2 billion with a net profit of Rp 370 billion.

Turnover and profit will be contributed from the five areas of the company’s business digeluri, construction, property, EPC, investment, and production of precast concrete.

Major projects that the company achieved, among others, the Port-Cilegon Krakatau Bandar Samudra, Nifaro Apartments, St Moritz, The Kencana, Cikampek Toll-palimanan, Tunjungan Surabaya Plaza V, Terminal 3 Seekarno Hatta Cengkareng Airport, railway in South Sumatra by PT KAI, infrastructure Sarulla 300 MW power plant in North Sumatra, Banten Intermark apartments and EPC projects Tanjung kitbag 120 MW Combined Cycle Power Plant, 160 MW power plant Bangkanai, and CNG Muara Tawar.

In addition, the company also received a new contract abroad, namely in Tibar Gleno Road, East Timor, amounting to Rp 264 billion.

Major program in the property sector which will begin in late 2013 the development landbank owned by the company, in the form of mixed use on an area of ​​4 hectares in Surabaya and a land area of ​​20 hectares in Jakarta. The target market is upper middle class.

PJAA Revenue Exceeds USD 1 trillion in 2012, Net Profit Up 10.02%

Annual General Meeting (AGM) of PT Pembangunan Jaya Ancol Tbk (PJAA) has appointed Billy Setyo Waluyo as President Director of PT Pembangunan Jaya Ancol, Tbk replace Budi Karya Sumadi have ended his term.

Billy had previously occupied the position as Director of PT Jaya Real Property since 2004. Graduates of the Architectural Engineering, Gadjah Mada University (UGM) is a recommendation of the Provincial Government (Government) DKI Jakarta.

While former President Director of PT Pembangunan Jaya Ancol, Tbk Budi Karya Sumadi end of his term in Ancol, and has received mandate from the city government to occupy the President Director of PT Jakarta Propertindo.

Various development efforts and efficiency PJAA conducted during 2012 the company managed to boost performance. PJAA revenue last year managed to break the USD 1 trillion, to be exact Rp 1,053 trillion, up 12.9% compared to the year 2011 amounting to Rp 933 billion. The figure is a record in the history PJAA revenue performance.

Meanwhile, net income rose sharply to Rp 178.15 billion or 10.02% higher than in 2011 which reached Rp 161.92 billion. This makes the achievement of earnings per share (EPS) rose from Rp 101 per share in 2011 to USD 111 in fiscal year 2012.

Company admits it is not easy to increase revenue amid increasingly intense competition with the emergence of leisure recreation places new, “but various contents innovation and development during 2012 has shown satisfactory results. Ancol Dream Park visitor numbers continue to grow to 15.849 million, up 6%, “said the former President Director of PT Pembangunan Jaya Ancol, Tbk, Budi Karya Sumadi, after the Open General Meeting of Shareholders (AGM) of the company, in the temple Bentar Mermaid Ancol , Thursday (30/5).

Based on data from the financial statements, all 5 (five) years the company’s revenue continued to grow significantly from just Rp 763.066 billion in 2007 to Rp 1.053 trillion in 2012, up 38% more. In the same period, net profit rose from Rp 140.867 to Rp 178.151 billion billion, an increase of approximately 23%.

In terms of total assets, the company is also experiencing rapid growth. As of December 31, 2012, total assets PJAA already reached Rp 2.38 trillion, up 37.49% compared to 2011’s Rp 1,737 trillion. But at the same time, total liabilities also increased from Rp 557.81 billion in 2011 to Rp 1.078 trillion in 2012.

Of the data is also visible, recreation and resort sector is still the largest contributor to revenue PJAA. Revenue from recreation sector reached Rp 674.56 billion, up 8% from the year 2011 which is only Rp 627.027 billion. While the resort segment operating income increased 31%, from Rp 48.3 billion in 2011 to Rp 63.112 billion.

Meanwhile, despite the rise in larger numbers (26%), income from the property sector in 2012 reached Rp 292.121 billion compared to 2011 amounting to Rp 232.410 billion. Performance segment performance properties obtained from the sale of the retail market segment, through the presence of several new property projects being built PJAA.

Described, contents development efforts and new innovations in the leisure segment conducted during 2012 as part of the strategic plan of the company until 2015. Efforts are made with the aim of achieving the company’s business growth suistainable recreation business segments where performance could be more adequate, both in the number of visitors and revenue.

Prospects in 2013

In 2013, for recreation and resort segment, PJAA will focus on the completion of the construction of Courtyard Marriot Hotel in Ancol complex Mermaids will have 310 rooms and is scheduled soft opening in mid-2014, the development of Ecopark, indoor Dufan, as well as the revitalization of the Art Market. The Company also plans to cooperate in the development of Taman Wisata Jurug in Solo, Central Java, South Jakarta Ragunan Swan Lake, as well as the development of Marunda Public Beach, North Jakarta.

“We will focus on development to support sustainable growth and transform business segments that do not contribute to the advancement of the company,” said Billy Setyo Waluyo as President Director of PT Pembangunan Jaya Ancol, Tbk new.

In the property sector, efforts will be made to the income mengenjot continue reclamation projects in the framework of additional land bank, an exclusive residential development Coasta Villa Beach Resort Living as many as 105 units on an area of ​​27 491 m2, the completion of construction of North Land Ancol Residence apartment, condo development and Seafront town house in Ancol Ancol Barat, West Ancol apartment development, and construction of an office area Ancol Office Park.

“This development is in line with the plan of making PJAA Ancol became the center of business, entertainment and residential in Jakarta,” said Gatot Setyo.

In addition to leisure and property segment, to increase its revenue PJAA will also continue the development of new business with business-based infrastructure. For 2013, the company through its subsidiary PT Pratama Jaya Ancol will continue keikusertaannya in development projects along Priok Access Road Toll PT Jakarta Propertindo through PT JATP (Toll Priok Access Road), and the construction of 6 sections Jakarta Urban Toll Road through a partnership company PT JTD.

“This effort is a collaboration of our commitment to creating new sources of revenue for the company. And through a variety of efforts, the company’s revenue is expected to grow an average of 15% per annum in the next 5 years, “said Gatot Setyo.

PJAA contribution to PAD Capital Continues to Increase

Increasing the company’s performance also affects the contribution PJAA for local revenue (PAD) DKI Jakarta. For 2012, the company’s contribution to the PAD Jakarta Rp 129.212 billion or greater than in 2011 which reached Rp 120.8 billion.

Of revenue amounting to Rp 129.212 billion, Rp 77.372 billion, a regional tax to be paid and the remaining Rp 51.840 billion of dividends. “Local Taxes that we pay consisting of the UN, PHI, and PB 1,” he said.

PJAA contribution to DKI Jakarta PAD in 5 (five) last year continues to increase. In 2007, the contribution of Rp 90.25 billion and increased to Rp 100.9 billion in 2008. For the year 2009 reached Rp 100.7 billion in 2010 to Rp 113.2 billion and Rp 120.8 billion for 2011.

The AGM also agreed, on the earnings per share (EPS) of Rp 111 per share, will be distributed in the form of dividends amounting to Rp 49.5 per share to the shareholders. This figure is much better than the previous year in which EPS reached Rp 101 per share and dividends are distributed only Rp 45 per share.

India May industrial output shrinks surprise 1.6%

India’s industrial output shrank by a shock 1.6 percent in May from a year ago, data showed Friday, adding to mounting gloom about Asia’s third-largest economy.

The contraction in output by factories, mines and utilities was far below market forecasts of a 1.5-percent rise while in another blow, April’s industrial output growth was revised to 1.8 percent from 2.8 percent expansion earlier.

“Industrial recovery is not yet in sight — this is definitely a surprise on the downside,” D.K. Joshi, chief economist of India’s leading credit rating agency Crisil, told AFP.

The figures marked more grim reading for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Congress-led government which is desperately hoping for an economic rebound before elections due in the first half of 2014.

“Industry has slipped into a serious crisis,” said business leader Rajkumar Dhoot, as the data showed manufacturing, which accounts for three-quarters of the Index of Industrial Production, had slumped by 2.0 percent in May.

Dhoot, chief of the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry, predicted “large-scale job losses” in the country of 1.2 billion people and pointed to production shutdowns already announced by the once-booming car sector.

Despite the weakness, the central bank is ill-placed to cut interest rates to kickstart the economy with the rupee near lifetime lows and separate data Friday showing retail price inflation climbing to 10.13 percent in June from 9.65 percent in May.

“For any policymaker, it is a very challenging time. You have urgent situations over the rupee, inflation and now manufacturing,” Joshi said.

“There is no magic wand except that the government must start implementing some of the economic reforms it has been promising,” he said.

While the bank has cut rates three times since the start of 2013 following an aggressive hiking spree, borrowing costs remain high.

The disappointing data comes as Finance Minister P. Chidambaram is in the United States this week on his second trip in three months to woo foreign investment — seen as key to strengthening the currency and spurring growth.

But he is seen as hampered by political opposition at home to more steps to prise open India’s still heavily state-dominated economy and investor concerns about widespread corruption.

India’s economy has been struggling under high interest rates, strong consumer inflation and weak domestic and foreign investment, as well as a string of graft scandals.

The government has forecast the economy will grow by at least six percent in the financial year that began April 1, after expanding by five percent last year — its slowest pace in a decade.

But private economists have been reducing their forecasts in the past few months with most seeing growth in the five-to-six percent range.

In one piece of positive news out of Friday’s string of downbeat data, June’s trade deficit narrowed from the previous month as gold imports slid in response to government duty hikes to curb consumer appetite for the precious metal.

The merchandise trade gap fell to $12.2 billion in June from $20.1 billion in May, easing market worries about India’s gaping current account deficit — the broadest measure of trade.

Oil imports also fell to $12.7 billion from $15 billion in May. Oil and gold imports are the biggest contributors to the current account deficit. But despite a sharply weaker currency, June exports fell 4.6 percent to $23.79 billion.

And underscoring weak consumer demand, car sales slid nine percent in June from a year earlier, marking a record eighth straight month of decline, other figures showed, and prompting industry calls for a government stimulus package.

“This is certainly the worst period I have seen in a long time,” R.C. Bhargava, chairman of Japanese-controlled Maruti Suzuki, the country’s largest carmaker, said in an interview published Friday.