India's current account deficit narrows to 0.1% of GDP in Jan-Mar

Mumbai: India's current account deficit (CAD) dropped sharply to $300 million or 0.1 percent of GDP in the fourth quarter of 2015-16 on account of lower trade deficit, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here on Thursday. "India's CAD narrowed sharply to $0.3 billion (0.1 percent of GDP) in Q4 of 2015-16, significantly lower than $7.1 billion (1.3 percent of GDP) in Q3 of 2015-16 and marginally lower than $0.7 billion (0.1 percent of GDP) in Q4 of 2014-15," RBI said in a statement.  "The contraction in CAD was primarily on account of a lower trade deficit ($24.8 billion) than in Q4 of last year ($31.6 billion)," it said. The RBI also said foreign exchange reserves (on a balance of payment basis) increased by $3.3 billion in January-March quarter of 2015-16.  On a cumulative basis, the CAD contracted to 1.1 per cent of GDP in 2015-16 from 1.8 percent in 2014-15, on the back of a contraction in the trade deficit.  "Net services receipts declined on a year-on-year basis largely due to fall in exports of transport, financial services and telecommunication, computer and information services," it said. In 2015-16, there was an accretion of $17.9 billion to foreign exchange reserves (on a balance of payment basis), as compared to $61.4 billion in 2014-15. Private transfer receipts, mainly representing remittances by Indians employed overseas, amounted to $ 15.7 billion, a decline from their level in the preceding quarter as well as from a year ago.  Net foreign direct investment (FDI) moderated in the fourth quarter of 2015-16 and stood at $8.8 billion from $9.3 billion in the corresponding quarter of 2014-15.