PRETORIA (Reuters) - South Africa's current account deficit widened more than expected to 6.5 percent of GDP in the second quarter of 2013 from 5.8 percent in the first quarter as the trade gap rose substantially, the Reserve Bank said on Tuesday.
"Notwithstanding the acceleration in global economic growth and a concomitant increase in world trade volumes ... South African exporters did not benefit from the somewhat more favourable global economic environment," the bank said in its September quarterly bulletin.
Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast only a slight widening in the current account gap to 5.95 percent of GDP.
The terms of trade for Africa's biggest economy had deteriorated in the second quarter as the rand price of imports accelerated at a faster pace than that of exports, the Reserve Bank noted.
The rand has shed over 18 percent of its value against the dollar this year as investors nervous about incessant and often violent wage-related strikes bail out of local assets.
This has exacerbated the impact of a global emerging market sell-off as investors anticipate that the United States could soon begin scaling back its asset purchases.