India records marginal surplus on current account in Jan-Mar on lower trade deficit: RBI

Mumbai, June 30

India recorded a current account surplus of $0.6 billion or 0.1 per cent of GDP for the January-March quarter against a deficit of $4.6 billion or 0.7 per cent of GDP in the year-ago period, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said on Tuesday.

For the fiscal year 2019-20, the current account deficit narrowed to 0.9 per cent of the GDP compared to 2.1 per cent in FY2018-19, the central bank said.

The lower trade deficit was one of the prime reasons for the improvement in the current account balances both for the March quarter as well as for the whole fiscal year.

The current account balances, which represents the net of the country’s export and imports of goods and services and also payments made to foreign investors or inflows from them, are considered as an important indicator of a country’s external sector.

The RBI the surplus in the current account in the March quarter was primarily on account of a lower trade deficit at $35 billion and a sharp rise in net invisible receipts at $35.6 billion as compared with the corresponding period of last year.

The net services receipts increased to $22 billion in March quarter as against the 2019’s $21.3 billion on the back of a rise in net earnings from computer and travel services on a year-on-year basis, the RBI said.

Private transfer receipts, mainly representing remittances by Indians employed overseas, increased 14.8 per cent to $20.6 billion for the reporting quarter, the RBI said.

The net outgo from the primary income account, which primarily reflects the net overseas investment income payments, decreased to $4.8 billion from $6.9 billion a year ago, the central bank said.

The net foreign direct investment nearly doubled to $12 billion for the March quarter as against the $6.4 billion in the year-ago period, while foreign portfolio investments (FPIs) declined by $13.7 billion during the three-month period as against an increase of $9.4 billion in the year-ago period. PTI

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