South Africa’s current account deficit widened to 2.1 percent of GDP in the first quarter of this year from a deficit of 1.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016, the central bank said on Tuesday.
Economists surveyed by Reuters had expected a 2.3 percent deficit for the quarter.
South Africa’s trade surplus was largely unchanged at 57 billion rand ($4.4 billion), helped by a slight increase in the value of net gold and merchandise exports, the bank said.
“The broadly unchanged trade surplus occurred alongside a widening of the shortfall on the services, income and current transfer account. Consequently, the deficit on the current account of the balance of payments widened,” the Reserve Bank said in its June quarterly bulletin.
($1 = 12.9875 rand)
(Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; Editing by James Macharia)