Cur­rent ac­count deficit grows

The Times (South Africa) - - Busi­ness - By SUNITA MENON

● De­spite ex­pec­ta­tions of an im­prove­ment, the cur­rent ac­count deficit con­tin­ued to widen in the sec­ond quar­ter of 2017 — to 2.4% of gross do­mes­tic prod­uct from 2% the pre­vi­ous quar­ter.

The Re­serve Bank’s quar­terly bul­letin, re­leased on Thurs­day, said the coun­try had a trade sur­plus for the third con­sec­u­tive quar­ter.

The sur­plus widened to R64.6-bil­lion in the sec­ond quar­ter of 2017, from R57.4-bil­lion in the first, thanks to a faster in­crease in the value of ex­ported gold and mer­chan­dise goods com­pared with im­ports.

De­spite the trade sur­plus. the short­fall on the ser­vices, in­come and cur­rent trans­fer ac­count con­tin­ued to widen, from R91-bil­lion in the first quar­ter of 2017 to R110-bil­lion in the sec­ond.

In the pe­riod 2012-2016, South Africa had one of the largest cur­rent ac­count deficits among emerg­ing mar­kets, with the short­fall of­ten ex­ceed­ing 6% of GDP.

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