SA's current deficit widens in 4th quarter

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Pretoria - South Africa's current account deficit widened in the fourth quarter of 2009, says the Reserve Bank.

"The deficit on the current account of the balance of payments narrowed steadily from 6.7 percent of gross domestic product in the first quarter of 2009 to 2.8 per cent in the fourth
quarter," said the central bank in its March Quarterly Bulletin released on Tuesday.

The bulletin covers the last quarter of 2009.

According to the Reserve Bank, on a calendar-year basis the deficit on the current account relative to the country's gross domestic product narrowed from 2008s 7.1 percent to 4 percent in 2009.

It said that the narrowing of the deficit could be attributed to an increase in international trade volumes and a stronger rise in the value of goods exported from South Africa.

"South Africa's trade surplus with the rest of the world consequently widened from R22.3 billion in the third quarter of 2009 to R24.9 billion in the fourth quarter," it said.

For the year as a whole the trade balance changed from a deficit of R35.6 billion recorded in 2008 to a R2.3 billion surplus in 2009.