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South Africa suffers shock current account deficit hit as exports drop

JOHANNESBURG -- South Africa's current account recorded its largest deficit in nearly four years in the second quarter of 2012 as exports fell because of subdued external demand that is likely to hit manufacturing throughout the rest of the year.

The central bank also said labour unrest in the mining sector — in particular, fallout from the police shooting of 34 striking miners at a platinum mine last month — might cause economic growth to slump in the third quarter. A 30 percent rise in mining output propped up the economy in the second quarter.

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