India’s current account slips into deficit in Q2 of FY22: Basics Explained

India’s current account slipped into a deficit of $9.6 billion, or 1.3 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in the second quarter of the ongoing fiscal, the Reserve Bank of India said . The current account records the value of exports and imports of both goods and services along with international transfers of capital, and was in surplus both sequentially as well as year-on-year.

              India’s current account surplus had stood at $6.6 billion or 0.9 percent of the GDP in the April-June 2021 quarter, while in the year-ago period (Q2FY21), the surplus had stood at $15.3 billion or 2.4 percent of the GDP, the data said. For the reporting quarter, the deficit was mainly due to widening of trade deficit to $44.4 billion from $30.7 billion in the preceding quarter, and an increase in net outgo of investment income, the RBI said.


A trade deficit is an economic measure of international trade in which a country’s imports exceed its exports. A trade deficit represents an outflow of domestic currency to foreign markets. It is also referred to as a negative balance of trade (BOT).

Trade Deficit = Total Value of Imports – Total Value of Exports

               Nations of the world record their trades in their balance of payment (BOP) ledgers. BOP of India is a systematic statement of all economic transactions between the residents of India and the residents of the rest of the world in an accounting period (say one year).

                     One of the primary accounts in the balance of payments is the current account, which keeps track of the goods and services leaving (exports) and entering (imports) a country; traded with the rest of the world.  The excess of imports of goods and services over their export is referred as Current Account Deficit (CAD).

        The BoP as a classification format, classifies the BoP account into two:

  • Current account transactions that involves exports and imports of goods and services (services are incorporated under invisibles). And
  • Capital account transactions that involve the flow of investable money to and from India. Ex: FDI/FII Loans

                         Current account has two components – exports and imports of goods and export and imports of invisibles (include services, remittances and income). Hence the current account has two sub components:

 a.)  Merchandise trade account: gives the money value of India’s exports and imports of goods.

   b.) Invisible account: indicate India’s

(1) Service exports and imports (software exports, tourism revenues, etc, various service imports)

(2) Remittances (private remittances from abroad and payment to foreign countries)

(3) Income (income earned by MNCs from their investment in India).


A higher CAD is not necessarily bad if the bulk of it is on account of such imports that help exports and growth and is financed through higher inflow of foreign direct investment. But slowing economy and a growing CAD make a lethal combination. While the former would tend to discourage foreign capital inflows, the latter would have a cascading impact on inflation and competitiveness of Indian exports.


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