JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s economy has received a further body blow after recording the largest trade balance deficit since January in July with a trade gap of R4.6 billion.
The trade data released on Friday surprised on the downside as the markets had pencilled in a surplus of R5.4bn in the month, following a surplus of R11.9bn recorded in June.
The SA Revenue Services (Sars) said: “The year-to-date ( January 1 to July 31) trade deficit of R6.51bn is a deterioration on the surplus for the comparable period in 2017 of R33.21bn.”
The revenue services attributed July’s deficit to exports of R107.06bn against imports of R111.72bn.
The taxman further said excluding trade with neighbouring Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and eSwatini, the country recorded a trade deficit of R11.53bn in July, highlighting the importance of intraregional trade.