The lower gap, coupled with data showing inflation accelerated away from the
The current account deficit was at 4.5 percent of GDP in the first three months of the year, the
In the first quarter of 2012, when the shortfall came in at 3.9 percent.
The rand, which has been vulnerable to wide current account shortfalls, rallied yesterday to a session high of 10.767 against the dollar.
Data also showed consumer inflation accelerated more than expected to 6.6 percent year-on-year last month from 6.1 percent in April, backing the case for an increase in interest rates.
The bank has kept rates on hold since January, when it lifted the benchmark repo rate by 50 basis points to 5.5 percent.
However, a hike is not a given as the economy grapples with a 20-week platinum strike that has led to a 0.6 percent contraction in GDP.
In its quarterly bulletin, the central bank estimated that the current account deficit would have been 4.2 percent without the negative effect of the strike, while the economy would have grown 1.6 percent in the first quarter.
"Today's CPI numbers will most certainly continue to highlight the… dilemma of managing an uncomfortable domestic inflation environment amid a weakening economic backdrop," said
"We maintain our view that the
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