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South Africa's Q1 current account deficit widens to 2.1% of GDP

South Africa's trade surplus was largely unchanged at R57 billion, helped by a slight increase in the value of net gold and merchandise exports.

Picture: Freeimages.

PRETORIA - South Africa's current account deficit widened to 2.1% of GDP in the first quarter of this year from a deficit of 1.7% in the fourth quarter of 2016, the central bank said on Tuesday.

Economists surveyed by Reuters had expected a 2.3% deficit for the quarter.

South Africa's trade surplus was largely unchanged at R57 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.