ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Macroeconomic Indicators

The year-on-year wholesale price inflation of 6.9% for July 2012 , when compared with 9.4% a year ago, shows some softening of the overall inflation rate. At 2.4%, the build-up of inflation up to July during 2011-12 was also lower compared with 3.1% a year ago. Food inflation, covering both primary food articles and manufactured food products, however, had hardened to 8.7% against 8.2% a year ago. Inflation based on the new series of the consumer price index (CPI) was 10% in June 2012, in tandem with CPI for industrial workers at 10.1%.

Macroeconomic Indicators

The sluggish performance of Europe adversely affected India's trade with the region in recent years. The share of India's exports to Europe consistently declined from 22.9% in 2007-08 to 19.0% in 2011-12 and that of imports from 20.5% to 18.7% during the same period. The share of exports to the United States of America, however, after contracting from 17.0% in 2007-08 to 14.7% in 2010-11, improved to 16.4% in 2011-12. The share of exports to Asia and ASEAN, after improving from 51.7% in 2007-08 to 54.0% in 2009-10, moderated to 51.6% in 2011-12.

Current Statistics

India's total gross external debt increased by 13% to $345.8 billion as of end March 2012 over end March 2011. Short-term debt recorded a faster increase by 20.3% to $78.2 billion over the same year. As a result, short-term debt as a percentage of total debt rose from 21.2% to 22.6% between March 2011 and 2012. A long-term trend has been that the share of concessional debt in total debt has been declining: from 36.8% as on March 2003 to 13.9% as on March 2012.

The Confidence Factor and the External Sector

What is required in this period of faltering growth is a concerted effort to build confi dence so that the external sector gets strengthened. Besides dealing with infl ation control and fi scal discipline, the policies on the external front should aim at giving a thrust to exports, encouraging capital fl ows on an enduring basis, reducing policy uncertainties and removing opaqueness about interventions in the foreign exchange market.

Advance estimate of agricultural production for 2011-12

The fourth advance estimate of agricultural production for 2011-12 shows that the foodgrains production touched a new peak of 257 million tonnes over the previous year's peak of 245 million tonnes. This has been enabled by the production of both rice and wheat reaching all-time highs of 104 million tonnes and 94 million tonnes respectively, though the performance of other cereals and pulses remained mixed. Among commercial crops, while oilseeds production declined by 7.6% to 300 million tonnes, production of sugar cane reached a new peak of 3,577 million tonnes.

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