South African current account deficit narrows to 5.1%

The deficit on South Africa’s current account narrowed to 5.1 of GDP in the fourth quarter of the year from a revised shortfall of 5.8 percent previously, the central bank said on Tuesday.


A current account deficit means we are importing more than we are exporting.

Economists surveyed by Reuters had expected a 5.8 percent gap for Q4.

In its latest quarterly bulletin, the Reserve Bank said the volume of exports picked up notably in the last three months of 2014, due to a reduced number of strikes and favourable conditions in some destinations, helping narrow the trade gap.

However, the improved trade balance was offset by larger net income payments to non-residents, the bank said.

On a year-on-year basis, the deficit on the current account was narrower at 5.4 percent of GDP in 2014, compared to 5.8 percent in 2013.