South Africa’s current account deficit widened to 4.1 percent of gross domestic product in the third quarter of 2016 from a revised deficit of 2.9 percent in the second quarter, the central bank said on Friday.
Economists surveyed by Reuters had expected a 3.65 percent deficit for the quarter.
Exports fell during the quarter, resulting in a trade deficit of 4 billion rand ($291.5 million) compared with a revised surplus of 48 billion rand in the second quarter, the Reserve Bank said in its December quarterly bulletin.
The bank said the deficit in the current and trade accounts were due to weaker global demand for the country’s goods.
“Export earnings were also affected by the strengthening in the exchange value of the rand which more than offset the benefit arising from higher international commodity prices,” the bank said.
($1 = 13.7233 rand)