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India records current account surplus of $0.6 B for Jan-March quarter of FY 20, the first in 13 years

India records current account surplus of $0.6 B for Jan-March quarter of FY 20, the first in 13 years

India registered a current account surplus of $0.6 billion – 0.1 per cent of GDP — during the January-March quarter of 2019-20, the first in 13 years. This was driven by a huge drop in global crude oil prices and lower imports from China, which was in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic around that time.

The surplus will provide the Centre the necessary relief, at a time when most predictions from think tanks and rating agencies have indicated that India could witness an acute recession in the current financial year.

India is a net importer of crude oil. The country imports over 80 per cent of its total crude oil requirements.

In March, global crude oil prices fell to abysmally low levels hovering at an average of less $30 dollar a barrel. Prices even fell at about $20 a barrel.

Besides, fuel consumption in the country remained subdued even in April and May as Prime Minister Narendra Modi imposed a stringent lockdown from March 25 to contain the spread of the pandemic.

In the year ago period, India’s current account deficit — –the difference between the inflow and outflow of foreign currencies — stood at $4.6 billion.

India' s CAD for the October-December quarter of 2019-20 too had shown a decline to 0.2 per cent of gross domestic product compared to 0.9 per cent in the July-September quarter and 2.7 per cent in the corresponding period of the previous year.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) India said India had a lower trade deficit of $35 billion in the March quarter though at the same time the country witnessed a sharp jump in net invisible receipts at $35.6 billion when compared to corresponding quarter of the previous year.

India’s net foreign direct investment (FDI) during the January- March quarter of 2019-20, too increased to $12 billion against the $6.4 billion in corresponding quarter in the previous financial year. However, foreign portfolio investments (FPIs) declined by $13.7 billion during the quarter compared to an increase of $9.4 billion in the year-ago period..