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South Africa Current-Account Deficit Widens as Exports Drop

  • Trade deficit more than doubles in fourth quarter, SARB says
  • Government is forecasting shortfall of 4 percent in 2016
Updated on

South Africa’s current-account deficit widened more than economists estimated, reaching 5.1 percent of gross domestic product in the fourth quarter as exports declined despite a weaker rand and dividend receipts from abroad decreased.

The gap on the current account, the broadest measure of trade in goods and services, increased from a revised 4.3 percent in the previous three months, the Reserve Bank said in its Quarterly Bulletin released on Tuesday in the capital, Pretoria. The deficit was forecast to reach 4.4 percent, according to the median estimate of 12 economists surveyed by Bloomberg.