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South Africa adjusts trade balance calculations, slashes deficits JOHANNESBURG: South Africa has cut its 2012 trade deficit to about a third of the previously stated shortfall after adjusting the data to incorporate trade with its neighbours, the national revenue service said on Thursday.The revision will likely reduce the current account gap for Africa's biggest economy, which has persisted at around 6 percent of GDP and piled pressure on the rand.The currency firmed after the South African Revenue Service (SARS) said it had revised down the 2012 trade gap to 34.6 billion rand ($3.4 billion) from a previous 116.9 billion rand after adding the positive balance with Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland (BLNS).It also halved the cumulative shortfall for the year to September to about 64 billion rand."The view is ... that direct trade within the BLNS countries should be included in the calculation of the monthly trade statistics to provide a more accurate reflection of South Africa's trade," ...

EU could agree trade deal with West African bloc within months ABIDJAN: The European Union could finalise a trade agreement with West Africa's 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) within the next three months, EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said on Thursday.Negotiations over an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) to promote free market access broke down a year and a half ago amid disagreement over the speed at which West African nations were willing to open their markets and lift tariff barriers.However ECOWAS heads ...
Obama warns against further Iran sanctions WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama on Thursday warned Congress against further sanctions on Iran, saying that a deal in the works could prevent the "unintended consequences" of war.Obama pressed Congress as the UN nuclear watchdog said that Iran has not expanded its nuclear facilities in the past three months in a possible confidence-building measure by the new reform-minded government.Obama appeared to make his most explicit suggestion yet that military action -- if diplomacy fails -- ...
Spain to make clean exit from bank bailout in January BRUSSELS: Spain decided Thursday to follow Ireland's lead and exit its bank bailout without seeking a precautionary credit line in reserve, eurozone finance ministers said. "We are fully supportive of Spain's decision not to request any successor ESM financial assistance following the programme exit in January 2014," said a statement following Brussels talks.Spain agreed a 40-billion-euro rescue package for its banks with eurozone partners in July 2012, but faced the same difficulty as Ireland in ...
British retail sales drop 0.7pc in October: data LONDON: Britain's retail sales, a key driver of the economy, sank unexpectedly last month as demand fell for clothing and electrical goods, official data showed on Thursday.Sales slid 0.7 percent in October from the level in September, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement.Market expectations had been for no change, according to analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires.Retail sales -- which are an important indicator of consumer confidence -- rose by 1.8 ...
Romanian growth accelerates in Q3: data BUCHAREST: Romania's economy picked up speed in the third quarter and grew by 1.6 percent, official data showed on Thursday.In the second quarter, the economy increased by 0.5 percent.Strong agricultural output was a key driver of growth in the third quarter, analysts say.In the first nine months of this year, Romania's economy, one of the biggest in Eastern Europe, grew by 2.7 percent, Romania's statistics institute (INS) said.More detailed data will be published on December ...
Bulgaria returns to growth despite political turmoil SOFIA: Bulgaria's economy returned to growth in the third quarter despite ongoing political tensions in the EU's poorest country, official official preliminary data showed on Thursday.Helped by a modest recovery in the eurozone that has boosted other central and eastern European emerging economies, gross domestic product (GDP) grew 0.6 percent after shrinking 0.1 percent in the last quarter.Exports rose 1.8 percent and household consumption edged up 0.2 percent. On a 12-month basis, GDP grew by ...


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Foreign Debt $60.9bn
Per Cap Income $1,368
GDP Growth 3.6%
Average CPI 7.5%
Trade Balance $-1.558 bln
Exports $2.117 bln
Imports $3.675 bln
WeeklyJuly 10, 2014
Reserves $14.638 bln