June 21, 2018 / 8:08 AM / in 6 months

South Africa's Q1 current account deficit widens to 4.8 pct of GDP

PRETORIA, June 21 (Reuters) - South Africa’s current account deficit widened to 4.8 percent of gross domestic product in the first quarter from 2.9 percent in the fourth quarter of last year as exports fell at a steeper rate than imports, the central bank said on Thursday.

The deficit was the largest since the first quarter of 2016 and wider than the average forecast by economists surveyed by Reuters, who had expected it at 3.8 percent of GDP.

The quarterly trade balance swung to a deficit of 25 billion rand ($2 billion) from a surplus of 74 billion rand as the value of exports fell sharply, the Reserve Bank said in its June quarterly bulletin. (Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo Editing by Ed Cropley/James Macharia)

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