NEW DELHI (AP) — India’s finance minister says the fundamentals of Asia’s third-largest economy have strengthened since the country faced a potential crisis last year.

Palaniappan Chidambaram told reporters that the worrisome current account deficit had narrowed to about $35 billion in the fiscal year that ended Monday from $60 billion the previous year. He said the fiscal deficit dropped to 4.6 percent of gross domestic product and foreign exchange reserves grew to $300 billion.

He said the improvements had lessened the threat of a downgrade from investor rating agencies.

The Indian rupee strengthened last week to an 8-month high after spiraling to a lifetime low of more than 68 per dollar in August.

Still, India is struggling to revive its previous strong economic growth rate of previous years.

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