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Economy Aug 1, 2012

Subbarao says current account deficit likely to improve this fiscal

Mumbai: A day after flagging concerns over government finances, the Reserve Bank today said the current account deficit will improve this fiscal from the record low of 4.2 percent last year, as numbers for the first three months are indicating an improvement.

"It is possible that this year the CAD might be lower than it was last year," Reserve Bank (RBI) Governor Duvvuri Subbarao told analysts on a post-policy conference call.

Reuters

The Governor said numbers available for the first quarter show that the non-oil trade deficit has improved, which hints at an improvement in the CAD situation.

"We need to bring it down, the challenge is to bring the CAD down in the medium- and short-term to be able to finance the CAD with relatively stable inflows," he told the analysts.

It should be noted that the widening of the CAD -- the difference between total imports & transfers and export and outward transfers -- has led to a slew of problems, including deterioration in the currency as the inflows dwindled.

In the first quarter policy statement yesterday, he had said one of the reasons for not reducing interest rates was the high fiscal deficit and CAD coupled with drought-driven risks on inflation and further slowdown in GDP growth.

While fiscal deficit touched a record 5.9 per cent in FY12 against a target of 4.6 per cent, CAD hit a 30-year low of 4.2 percent in FY12, and 4.5 percent of GDP in the last quarter of the fiscal. The CAD was only 2.7 per cent of GDP in FY11.

PTI

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