“The deficit on South Africa’s current account widened from a downwardly revised 5.9% of gross domestic product in the second quarter of 2013 to 6.8% in the third quarter,” said the central bank in its December Quarterly Bulletin.
A current account deficit happens when a country’s total imports of goods and services are greater than the country’s total exports of goods and services.
According to the bank, domestic demand for foreign produced manufactured goods and mineral products remained strong.
“A higher volume of merchandise imports coincided with a firm increase in the rand price of such imports, lifting South Africa’s import bill significantly over the period. Despite labour unrest and structural impediments hampering domestic production, South African export volumes rose further in the third quarter of 2013,” said the bank in the bulletin.
The bulletin noted that the widening deficit in the current account of the balance of payments was further exacerbated by a somewhat larger shortfall on the services, income and current transfer account with the rest of the world.
The current account deficit was expected to come in at 5.9% of GDP.