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of USD 5.7 billion, it added.
The RBI said the turnaround in export growth and decline in imports from July 2013 onwards led to a sharp improvement in the trade deficit to USD 83.8 billion in the first half of 2013-14 from USD 91.6 billion in same period a year ago.
Net inflows under the capital and financial account (excluding change in foreign exchange reserves) declined to USD 15.1 billion in H1 of 2013-14 from USD 37.0 billion in H1 of 2012-13 owing to net outflows of portfolio investment.
FM optimistic about economy; expects 5% growth in FY'14
Seeking to paint an optimistic picture of the economy, Finance Minister P Chidambaram today said the country will clock a growth rate of 5 per cent in the current fiscal notwithstanding the current stress.
"We are going through a period of stress but there is a ground for optimism...we hope things will become better in the second half of the current fiscal," he said at a press conference here.
The Finance Minister based his optimism on several factors including better-than-expected second quarter GDP growth of 4.8 per cent, improvement in current account deficit position and recovery of exports.
The growth rate in the current fiscal, Chidambaram said, is likely to be 5 per cent.
He further said: "The second quarter GDP growth rate indicates that the economy may be recovering and on a growth trajectory again...performance of Q2 is broadly on the expected line."
With the recent improvement in some important sectors like manufacturing, better performance of exports and with the measures taken by the government the economy can be expected to show further improvement, he said.
Chidambaram also expressed the confidence that the government will be able to achieve the disinvestment target of Rs 40,000 crore and contain the fiscal deficit within 4.8 per cent of the GDP.
"We are still on target. We are on course for disinvestment. We are still on track to achieve Rs 40,000 crore target," he said.
Chidambaram said the fiscal deficit has been high in the first half of the current financial year on account of front-loading of expenditure.
"The fiscal deficit at the end of any month