RTTNews - The current account deficit of South Africa shrank to a five-year low in the second quarter, the central bank said in its quarterly bulletin on Thursday.

The deficit in current account was 3.2% of GDP in the second quarter, narrowing from 7% in the previous quarter. This was the lowest level since first quarter of 2004. Economists expected a deficit of 4.4% of GDP for the second quarter. The current account shortfall was 7.3% of GDP a year ago.

In the second quarter, the current account deficit stood at ZAR 73.1 billion, down from ZAR 163.7 billion deficit in the first quarter. Economists were looking for a deficit of ZAR 99.3 billion. A year earlier, the current account deficit was ZAR 166.25 billion.

South Africa's gross domestic product at market prices decreased a seasonally adjusted and annualized 3% in the second quarter, compared with a 6.4% fall in the previous quarter. This was the first instance of three consecutive quarters of decline in GDP since the fourth quarter of 1992, the statistical office said.

South Africa's economy is expected to shrink 2% during 2009, the weakest performance since 1992, a report from the Bureau for Economic Research showed on July 28.

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