South Africa: South African rand hits new record-low level in early January
January 22, 2016
South Africa’s rand (ZAR) has lost ground against the U.S. dollar in recent weeks, thus continuing a trend that began in mid-2011. The currency tumbled to a new record-low on 20 January when it traded at 16.94 ZAR per USD. The figure was 12.43% weaker than on the same day in the previous month and 45.6% weaker on an annual basis.
The currency has been under escalating pressure amid a myriad of economic problems. The rand’s value plummeted against the greenback after President Jacob Zuma dismissed Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene in a widely criticized move that crashed the country’s stock market. This has negatively affected business confidence. Moreover, lower commodity prices and concerns regarding the health of the Chinese economy are putting more pressure on the currency.
Author: Dirina Mançellari, Senior Economist