South Africa trade surplus widens in December
South Africa's trade balance recorded a surplus of ZAR17
South Africa's trade balance recorded a surplus of ZAR17.17 billion (US$1 billion) in December, official data showed.
The surplus was the biggest on record as imports shrunk 26 per cent to ZAR85.6 billion from the previous month, while exports fell by 13.4 per cent on a month-on-month basis to ZAR102.75 billion, the South African Revenue Service data showed.
The surplus eases pressure on the current account, which is the broadest measure of traded goods and services. The rand has weakened 9.9 per cent against the dollar since the start of 2018, battering confidence even as President Cyril Ramaphosa has pledged to attract $100 billion of investment over five years.
The trade surplus for 2018 was ZAR11.3 billion compared with a positive balance of ZAR76.7 billion a year earlier, according to media reports.