India further trims US treasury holdings to USD57.9 billion

Washington: Trimming its holdings of US government securities for the fourth straight month, India held American treasury bills worth USD 57.9 billion in December.
India, which is among the top 20 holders of American government securities, has been reducing its holdings since August 2012, even as neighbouring China is purchasing more of these bills.
Amid global uncertainties, the US economic output for the first time in more than three years shrank 0.1 per cent in the 2012 December quarter.
India's held American treasury bills to the tune of USD 57.9 billion in December last year, lower than USD 58.8 billion worth securities owned in November, according to latest data from the US Treasury Department.
In October, the same stood at USD 59.6 billion slightly lower than USD 59.7 billion recorded in September.
India's holdings of American government securities had touched USD 60.6 billion in August.
However, the holdings in December 2012 were much higher than in December 2011 when it stood at USD 43.5 billion.
Going by the official data, India is the 18th largest holder of these securities while China topped the table at the end of December.
China's holdings touched USD 1.202 trillion, closely followed by Japan that reached USD 1.120 trillion during that month.
Among the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) nations, India has the lowest exposure to American securities.
At the end of December, Brazil owned US treasury bills worth USD 251.5 billion, while that of Russia touched USD 157.6 billion.
The US, the world's largest economy, is going through a tough phase. Besides slow growth, the country is battling high debt levels. In the last three months of 2012, the American GDP unexpectedly shrank 0.1 per cent.
The contraction — first time since the second quarter of 2009 when there was recession — was mainly on account of sharp cuts in government spending.
"Real gross domestic product — the output of goods and services produced by labour and property located in the US — decreased at an annual rate of 0.1 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2012," the US Commerce Department had said in January.
Defence spending were slashed more than 22 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2012.