R5.1bn trade sur­plus is the third in a row

The Star Early Edition - - BUSINESS REPORT -

SOUTH Africa posted a R5.1 bil­lion trade sur­plus in April fol­low­ing a re­vised R11.3bn sur­plus in March, SA Re­serve Bank data showed yes­ter­day. The trade ac­count’s year to date po­si­tion had im­proved to R9.9bn com­pared to the deficit seen in April 2016 (-R26.4bn), ac­cord­ing to Stan­dard Bank head of Com­mer­cial Bank­ing Karl Gotte. The sur­plus was in line with the mar­ket ex­pec­ta­tions and with the coun­try’s his­tor­i­cal trends (2016 April posted a R0.4bn sur­plus). In­vestec econ­o­mist Kamilla Ka­plan said the im­prove­ment in the trade ac­count was ex­pected to be sus­tained this year. “The com­par­a­tive strength­en­ing bias in South Africa’s ex­port growth is likely to re­main in­tact if ex­pec­ta­tions of a sus­tained mod­er­ate lift in global growth and global trade mo­men­tum ma­te­ri­alise,” she said. NKC African Eco­nom­ics se­nior econ­o­mist El­ize Kruger said monthly trade sta­tis­tics were no­to­ri­ously volatile, but with three con­sec­u­tive monthly trade sur­pluses now recorded, the early in­di­ca­tions for this year were in­deed pos­i­tive. “Ex­port growth is sup­ported by a mod­er­ate re­cov­ery in South Africa’s ma­jor trad­ing part­ners and higher com­mod­ity prices,” she said. – Sizwe Dlamini

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