South Africa - Balance of payments

Gold invariably represents the great majority of the country's international reserves, but decreased demand for gold lowered world prices in the 1990s, slowing financial flows. The current account balance improved at the end of 2000 due to increased merchandise export earnings, which rose by 15%. This can be attributed in part to the depreciation of the rand, which strengthened the competitiveness of South African manufactures. Petroleum imports rose that year as well.

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reports that in 2001 the purchasing power parity of South Africa's exports was $32.3 billion while imports totaled $28.1 billion resulting in a trade surplus of $4.2 billion.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) reports that in 2001 South Africa had exports of goods totaling $31 million and imports totaling $26 million. The services credit totaled $4.66 billion and debit $5.21 billion. The following table summarizes South Africa's balance of payments as reported by the IMF for 2001 in millions of US dollars.

South Africa

Current Account -166
Balance on goods 4,966
Balance on services -546
Balance on income -3,846
Current transfers -739
Capital Account -32
Financial Account 501
Direct investment abroad -3,686
Direct investment in South Africa 7,162
Portfolio investment assets -5,331
Portfolio investment liabilities -2,971
Other investment assets -1,432
Other investment liabilities -614
Net Errors and Omissions 1,855
Reserves and Related Items -2,158

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