India’s current account deficit (CAD) in FY19 widened to 2.1% of the GDP, the highest in six years, paced by crude oil imports and a greater trade gap. But deficit in the fourth quarter was lower at 0.7% of the GDP, mirroring the softer trend in crude oil prices. Preliminary figures released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) showed that CAD, the excess of a country’s imports over exports, amounted to $57.2 billion in FY19, or 2.1% of the GDP, compared with $48.7 billion in FY18 or 1.8% of GDP.
India’s trade deficit increased to $180.3 billion in 2018-19 from $160 billion in 2017-18, largely due to a higher oil import bill. For the quarter ended March, CAD narrowed to $4.6 billion, or 0.7% of GDP, from $13 billion or 1.8% of GDP in Q4 of FY18. Contraction on-year was primarily on account of a lower trade deficit at $35.2 billion, compared with $41.6 billion a year ago. The capital account ended with a lower surplus of $19 billion for the quarter ended March, compared with net inflows of $25 billion in the same period a year ago on account of a slowdown in portfolio flows. For the full fiscal year, the surplus in the capital account amounted to $54 billion, compared with net inflows of $91 billion in the same period a year ago. The overall balance of payments, the sum total of current account and capital account, ended in a deficit of $3.3 billion.
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