South Africa's merchandise trade deficit decreased from the previous month in May, but came in above economists' expectations, data released by the South African Revenue Service showed Friday.
The trade deficit decreased to ZAR8.9 billion in May from ZAR9.9 billion in April. Economists expected the shortfall to narrow to ZAR6.7 billion. In May 2011, the balance was a deficit of ZAR1.5 billion.
The decrease in trade gap reflects higher exports of precious and semi-precious stones, mineral products and machinery and electrical appliances, the agency said.
Total export increased 20.4 percent on a monthly basis to ZAR62.8 billion during the month. Shipments of precious and semi-precious stones and metals climbed 37 percent annually, while dispatches of mineral products rose 17 percent.
The value of imports advanced 15.6 percent sequentially to ZAR71.7 billion. Arrivals of mineral products jumped 45 percent during the month, while imports of machinery and electrical appliances moved up 7 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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