South Africa

    South Africa’s current account deficit widened to 7.9 percent of GDP in the third quarter as a global credit crisis slashed demand for gold and platinum, the country’s biggest exports. The shortfall, the broadest measure of trade in goods and services, rose from 7.3 percent of GDP in the previous three months, the Pretoria-based Reserve Bank said. The deficit was 9.2 percent in the first quarter, the highest in at least 26 years. Plunging car sales in the US and a slump in global economic growth has curbed demand for commodities such as platinum, the price of which dropped 30 percent in Q3. The financial crisis is also making it more difficult for South Africa to finance the deficit. (Bloomberg)

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