The Sustainability of South African Current Account Deficits

Deficits in the South African current account since 2003 have been met with growing concern by economists. As these deficits reached unprecedented levels, questions about the sustainability of the country’s external position have begun to arise. This paper tests the sustainability of South Africa’s current account deficits via a test of the country’s intertemporal budget constraint. Following a similar methodology to Husted (1992) in testing for the sustainability of U.S. current account deficits and Wu, Fountas and Chen (1996) for U.S. and Canadian deficits, this paper employs the Engle and Granger (1987) ADF test for cointegration. An initial finding of an unsustainable current account position is reversed once structural breaks at 1994:1 and 2003:2 are controlled for in the cointegration equation. This investigation therefore concludes that South African current account deficit is sustainable.

Working Paper 188
1 September 2010
23 September 2012
Publication Type: Working Paper
JEL Code: F30

Related South Africa’s Cities and Growth Spatial Challenges and Policy Interventions Content

Request for Proposals: The role of cities as drivers of growth and employment
Background Urbanization in South Africa is expected to reach 80% by...
Call for Work
South Africa’s future will be decided in our cities
Discussion Document 14 South Africa’s cities face multiple, overlap...
Dieter von Fintel, Justin Visagie, Ivan Turok, Takwanisa Machemedze, Claus Rabe, Sebastian Galiani, Edward Glaeser
Discussion Document
Monitoring South Africa’s metropolitan economies: A survey of the data landscape
Discussion Document 13 Disparities in data across different metropo...
Dieter von Fintel
Discussion Document
Cities, productivity and Jobs in SA: Problems and potential
Discussion Document 12 Cities contribute to national prosperity bec...
Ivan Turok, Justin Visagie
Discussion Document
Place-based economic policies: international lessons for South Africa
Discussion Document 11 Place-based policies are designed to support...
Harris Selod, Claus Rabe
Discussion Document
What luminosity data can and cannot reveal about South Africa’s urban economies
Discussion Document 10 As novel types of data are becoming availabl...
Takwanisa Machemedze
Discussion Document
Crime: A policy-oriented survey
Discussion Document 9 South Africa has a reputation for having high...
Sebastian Galiani
Discussion Document
Virtual CDE Workshop on SA Cities and Growth
Urban economics has provided powerful insights into how the charact...