Container ships wait to load and offload goods in port during a 21-day nationwide lockdown aimed at limiting the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Cape Town, South Africa, April 17, 2020. REUTERS-Mike Hutchings

South Africa’s current account balance swung to a surplus of 1.3% of gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter of 2020 from a deficit of 1.3% of GDP in the previous three months, central bank data showed on Thursday.


The surplus was the first since the first quarter of 2003.

The trade balance showed a wider surplus of 208 billion rand ($12.27 billion) in January-March, more than double the 102.5 billion rand surplus in the previous three months.

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