SA records its second consecutive trade surplus in June
SA recorded a trade surplus of R4.42bn in June as growth in exports exceeded growth in imports.
The surplus, the second in a row, was attributable to exports of R108.17bn against imports of R103.75bn, data from Sars showed on Wednesday. Economists polled by Bloomberg expected a smaller surplus of R4.20bn.
While this is an improvement from the May trade surplus, which was revised down by R0.4bn to a smaller surplus of R1.7bn, the figures are difficult to predict and economists stress that it is important to look at longer-term trends.
The balance of trade is an indicator of the difference in value between a country’s imports and exports. The current account reflects the country’s trade with the rest of the world.
June’s surplus is a significant deterioration from the R12.19bn surplus recorded in June 2018.
For the year-to-date, SA recorded a trade deficit of R1.94bn which is a deterioration from the R0.11bn surplus for the comparable period in 2018.
This reflects subdued domestic and international economic growth. SA is expected to see growth below 1% this year while the global economy is slowing.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut its growth forecasts for the global economy for 2019 and 2020. It projects growth of 3.2% in 2019, down from its April forecast of 3.3%, while the forecast for 2020 will pick up to 3.5%, although this is below its earlier forecast of 3.6%, citing global trade tension and Brexit-related uncertainty as factors.
Trade tension between the US and China has escalated again after US President Donald Trump dampened the hopes that the two would soon reach a trade deal. In a series of tweets on Tuesday, Trump threatened a tougher deal or no trade agreement between the two economic superpowers, after officials from both countries met in Shanghai this week.
Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments?
Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.