Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

SA’s current account deficit deteriorated slightly to 3.5% of GDP in the third quarter.

The current account deficit amounted to R176.6bn in the third quarter, Reserve Bank data released on Thursday showed. Trading Economics had forecast a deficit of  R180bn.

The second-quarter deficit was revised from 3.3% to 3.4% of GDP.

The current account is an indicator of SA’s trade with the rest of the world. Compared with recent years, it has narrowed significantly, after averaging more than 5% of GDP between 2012 and 2015.

The trade surplus narrowed from R38.3bn in the second quarter to R14bn in the third quarter as there was a bigger increase in the value of imports compared with exports.

The shortfall on the services, income and current transfer account narrowed to R190.6bn in the third quarter of 2018 from R205.7bn in the second quarter.

Correction: December 6 2018

This article has been updated from an earlier version which incorrectly said the current account had now been in deficit for three consecutive quarters. We regret the error.