High gold and oil imports pushed current account deficit (CAD) to 4.9 per cent of GDP to USD 21.8 billion in the April-June quarter of the current fiscal, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said today.
CAD, the difference between inflow and outflow of foreign exchange, was 4.4 per cent or USD 16.9 billion in the same quarter of last fiscal, 2012-13.
"The trade deficit, coupled with a slow recovery in net invisibles (income and services), led to widening of CAD to USD 21.8 billion in Q1 of 2013-14 from USD 16.9 billion in Q1 of 2012-13," RBI said in its Balance of Payments statement.
CAD had declined to 3.6 per cent in the January-March quarter after touching a record high of 6.5 per cent in the October-December quarter.
The government plans to bring down CAD to 3.7 per cent or USD 70 billion in the 2013-14 fiscal, from 4.8 per cent or USD 88.2 billion in 2012-13.
Gold imports increased by USD 7.3 billion in the first quarter of current fiscal. The imports stood at about 335 tonnes in the April-June quarter.
"Excluding the increase in gold imports of USD 7.3 billion in Q1 of 2013-14 over the corresponding quarter of the preceding year, CAD would work out to USD 14.5 billion, which translates into 3.2 per cent of GDP," the Reserve Bank said.
RBI said there was a small draw down on country's foreign exchange reserves to finance the CAD.
"On BoP basis, there was a slight draw down in foreign exchange reserves of USD 0.3 billion in Q1 of 2013-14 as against an accretion of USD 0.5 billion in Q1 of 2012-13," it said.
During the quarter, while exports declined by 1.5 per cent, imports recorded an increase of 4.7 per cent. The trade deficit widened further to USD 50.5 billion in Q1 of 2013-14, from USD 43.8 billion a year ago, it said.
The RBI data showed capital account, which includes FDI, portfolio investment and overseas borrowing by companies, had a surplus of USD 20.8 billion in the June quarter. This was higher than USD 17.8 billion surplus in the March quarter.
Net foreign direct investment (FDI) surged to USD 6.5 billion in Q1 of 2013-14, from USD 3.8 billion in Q1 of 2012-13.
Net portfolio investment registered a marginal outflow of USD 0.2 billion as compared to outflow of USD 2.0 billion in Q1 of 2012-13, primarily led by the debt component of FII investment.