The New Oxford American Dictionary gives two meanings for actual:
- existing in fact;
- existing now; current
How common is the second of these meanings? Is it something that can be used without fear of being misunderstood (given that the differentiation between the two meanings will often not be clear from context alone)?
My feeling is that it is better to use other words to describe current because (again, this is my feeling), actual is really predominantly used in its first meaning. I am not a native speaker, however, so my gut feeling could be wrong...
EDIT: An example where actual is used to signify current but seems confusing to me:
“The state of the system does not reflect its actual input.”