Yesterday South Africa reported its smallest current account deficit in four years, with quarterly figure growing by 3.1%, compared to 4.7% previously. In actual fact it has been the rand’s weakness over the past year that has been the key contributor to these improved statistics, as, with the currency having fallen 14% in value against the US dollar, exports from South Africa have become more affordable. Although there has been a fall in commodity prices, which should have reduced their overall profit, the slump in the rand has meant that the quantity of commodities sold has improved – as a result, South Africa is enjoying a trade surplus for the first time in three years. Yesterday’s data helped to boost the rand by nearly 1% against sterling, and 0.5% against the US dollar.
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