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South Africa’s Record Current-Account Surplus Misses Estimates

  • Second-quarter surplus at 5.6% of GDP vs 6.7% estimate
  • Annualized trade surplus widens to record 613.7 billion rand

South Africa’s current-account surplus for the second quarter missed estimates even as it widened to a record amid improving economic activity and growing exports following the easing of restrictions to curb the spread of Covid-19. 

The balance on the current account, the broadest measure of trade in goods and services, widened to an annualized surplus of 5.6% of gross domestic product, or 342.8 billion rand ($24.2 billion), from a revised 4.3% positive balance in the previous quarter, the South African Reserve Bank said in a report on Thursday. While that’s the largest quarterly current-account surplus on record, it’s still less than the 6.7% median estimate of 13 economists in a Bloomberg survey.