CAD touches record high of 4.8% in 2012-13
New Delhi: Current Account Deficit (CAD) touched a record high of 4.8 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2012-13 on rising gold and oil imports, though still better than market expectation, bringing relief to the Indian government which is struggling to arrest the sliding rupee.
CAD, which is the difference between the outflow and inflow of foreign currency, however, moderated "sharply" to 3.6 per cent of GDP in the last quarter of 2012-13 fiscal after it touched a historic high of 6.7 per cent in the October-December quarter.
It was 4.4 per cent in the March quarter of 2011-12.
The CAD was at USD 78.2 billion (4.2 per cent) in 2011-12 fiscal, but a higher oil and gold imports pushed it up to USD 87.8 billion (4.8 per cent) last fiscal, RBI data said.
The central bank's comfort level for CAD is 2.5 per cent of GDP.
The Finance Ministry, meanwhile, said "the short-term increase or decrease in CAD should not be a cause for either optimism or pessimism".
"We must look at the figure at the end of the year where the CAD stands," it said.
The Rupee had touched a record low of 60.76 to a dollar yesterday. After the CAD data, the domestic currency recovered to 60.23 to the dollar.
"Markets have been over reacting as we have seen in the case of prediction for CAD last year which were much higher than 5 per cent and we have seen that it is much lower than 5 per cent," the Ministry said.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said petroleum and gold constituted about 45 per cent of total merchandise imports during 2012-13. While petroleum import rose by 9.3 per cent, gold import declined by 4.8 per cent during the fiscal.
For the full fiscal, gold import stood at USD 53.8 billion, down from USD 56.5 billion.