India's current account balance likely to turn surplus in April-June
With exports showing signs of revival, India's current account balance is likely to turn surplus in the first quarter (Q1) of the fiscal year 2016-17, said a leading research firm in its recent note.
The country's exports during June 2016 grew by 1.27% to $22,572.30 million (nearly Rs 1.50 lakh crore) as against $22, 289.43 million (nearly Rs 1.48 lakh crore) in June 2015, showed the Ministry of Commerce and Industry data on July 15.
This was the first positive growth in the country's exports after a gap of 18 months, which was mainly driven by strong growth in exports of non-petroleum products.
Non-petroleum exports grew by 3.06% to $19,997.33 million (nearly Rs 1.33 lakh crore) in June month as against $19,403.89 million (nearly Rs 1.29 lakh crore) in the corresponding period of last year.
Samir Tripathi of ICICI Global Markets said in research note dated July 18, "We believe that the worst phase of the weakness in exports growth is behind us. Though the positive growth is supported by base effect, broadening of sector posting positive exports growth is favorable."
As far as imports are concerned, they declined by 7.33% to $30,688.54 million (nearly Rs 2.04 lakh crore) in June 2016 as compared to $33,116.55 million (nearly Rs 2.20 lakh crore) in June 2015, the ministry said. The decline in oil imports during the month was primarily on the back of lower crude oil imports.
The trade deficit of merchandise for the April-June period of FY17 was estimated at $19, 234.01 million (nearly Rs 1.27 lakh crore), which was 40.32% lower than the deficit of $32,225.66 million (nearly Rs 2.14 lakh crore) in April-June period of 2015-16, cited the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in a statement.
"Lower trade deficit for Q1 increases the possibility of a current account surplus in Q1. This is likely to be the first current account surplus quarter since March 2007," Tripathi said.
"However, from a medium term perspective, the sustainability of the external sector will have to be watched. Continued improvement in competitiveness is crucial to support long term exports performance against the backdrop of low global growth," he added.