South Africa's trade deficit more than doubles in August


South Africa's trade deficit more than doubled to R16.3 billion (US$1.45 billion) in August from a revised R6.82 billion shortfall in July, data from the South African Revenue Service showed Tuesday.

The trade deficit excluding Botswana‚ Lesotho‚ Namibia and Swaziland was R23.9 billion.

Economists had expected an R8 billion gap, but the number is volatile and therefore hard to forecast.

Exports in August fell 9.6% to R77.24 billion while imports were up 1.4% at R93.53 billion. Exports decreased from July to August by R8.19bn or 9.6% and imports increased from July to August by R1.28bn or 1.4%.

The August data brings the cumulative deficit for the year to R70.74 billion, compared with a R51.88 billion gap over the same period in 2013.