South Africa's current account deficit narrowed sharply in the third quarter of 2023, to 0.3% of gross domestic product (GDP) from a revised 2.7% in the second quarter, central bank data showed on Thursday.
In rand terms, the current account recorded a deficit of R19.3 billion for the July-September period from a revised R185.2bn deficit in April-June.
Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast a deficit of R111.2bn or 1.9% of GDP in the third quarter.
The trade surplus grew to R189.1bn in the third quarter compared to R22.2bn in the second quarter.
"The value of merchandise imports decreased more than that of goods exports," the South African Reserve Bank said in a statement accompanying the data.
On Tuesday, the statistics agency released third-quarter GDP figures which showed a slight rise in exports although overall output contracted. The rise in exports was driven by vehicles, precious metals and vegetable products among other things, the GDP data showed.