South Africa’s current-account deficit widened to 5.1 percent of gross domestic product in the fourth quarter of 2015, as exports declined despite a weaker rand.
According to the country’s central bank, this was from a revised shortfall of 4.3 percent in the third quarter of the same year.
South Africa current-account deficit widens as exports drop https://t.co/zvIZcJ7u7x— Bloomberg Africa (@BBGAfrica) March 8, 2016
Year-on-year, the current account deficit shrunk to 4.4 percent of gross domestic product compared to a 5.4 percent deficit in 2014.
Following the news, the rand weakened to 15.44 to the dollar.
Africa’s most developed economy recently cut this year’s GDP growth forecast by almost half to 0.9 percent.
South Africa's economic woes continues as current-account deficit widens: https://t.co/C4KaqnwkJF— TheNerve Africa (@TheNerveAfrica) March 8, 2016
The country is experiencing the worst drought in more than a century, and a slowdown in China, which is South Africa’s biggest export market have weighed on output.