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South Africa sees record trade deficit

Posted on Dec 01, 12:41PM | IANS

South Africa has registered a record trade deficit of 21.2 billion rand (USD 2.4 billion) in October, authorities said.

The deficit was due to an increase in exports of 7.8 percent and an increase in imports of 16.7 percent, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) announced Friday.

Exports increased by 4.4 billion rand and imports increased by 11.8 billion rand, reported Xinhua.

SARS attributed the increased trade deficit to increased imports of machinery and electrical appliances, chemical products and vehicles, aircraft and vessels.

The cumulative deficit for the year to date is 104.6 billion rand, compared to 9.4 billion rand for the same period in 2011.

The latest data coupled with a bleak economic outlook for the country. According to the SA Reserve Bank (SARB), the country's economic growth slowed to 1.2 percent in the third quarter, the lowest in three decades.

"The fourth quarter is likely to be also very low. The average may still be about 2 percent or a little bit above that, but the trend is the problem," SARB Governor Gill Marcus said.