India's balance of payments position improved to $ 433.7 billion by September 2019 from $ 412.9 billion of forex reserves in March 2019, says Economic survey 2019-20.
"India's foreign reserves are comfortably placed at $ 461.2 billion as on 10th January 2020. Further, the external debt levels remained low at 20.1 per cent of GDP by the end of September 2019," adds the Survey, which was tabled in Parliament by Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. "India's external debt liabilities to GDP, including debt and equity components, has increased at the end of June 2019, primarily driven by the increase in FDI, portfolio flows and External Commercial Borrowings (ECBs)," reads the Survey.
The Survey notes that India's merchandise trade balance improved from 2009-14 to 2014-19 on the back of the decline in crude prices. The merchandise Exports-to-GDP ratio declined to 11.3 percent, due to weakened global demand and heightened trade tensions over 2018-19 to H1 of 2019-20.
"Petroleum, Oil, and Lubricants (POL), precious stones, drug formulations, and biologicals, gold and other precious metals continue to be the top exported commodities; the largest export destinations being United States of America (USA), followed by United Arab Emirates (UAE), China and Hong Kong," claims the Survey.
"In sync with an estimated 2.9 per cent growth in global output in 2019, global trade is estimated to grow at 1.0 per cent after having peaked in 2017 at 5.7 per cent," the Survey adds.
"The slowdown in world trade reflects a confluence of factors, including a slowdown in investment, reduced spending on capital goods and decline in trade of cars and car parts," says the Survey.
The Survey adds that global trade is projected to recover to 2.9 per cent in 2020, with recovery in global economic activity, although the future is ridden with uncertainties over trade tensions and change in global value chain structures.