Turkey’s current account gap narrows in March

ISTANBUL 

Turkey’s current account deficit has dropped to $589 million in March, decreasing by $4.14 billion compared with the same month in 2018, the Central Bank of Turkey (CBRT) said Monday.

The figure was nearly $4.73 billion in March 2018, according to Central Bank’s data.

The bank said the 12-month rolling deficit reached $12.83 billion in March.

“This development in the current account is mainly attributable to a $3.7-billion decrease in the goods deficit recording net outflow of $916 million,” the bank said in its report.

The CBRT also said Turkey’s current account deficit — excluding gold and energy — posted a $3.5-billion surplus in March 2019, versus a $573-million deficit in the same month last year.

“Services item realized net inflow of $1.3 billion increasing by $113 million compared to March 2018,” the bank said.

It added that travel item under services recorded a net inflow of $1.04 billion, rising by $55 million compared with March 2018.

A group of 17 economists, surveyed by Anadolu Agency, estimated a $900-million deficit in March.

Economists forecast that the 2019-end deficit would be $13.8 billion.

In 2018, Turkey’s annual current account deficit fell to a 10-year-low — $27.1 billion — realizing around 3.5% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

The country’s new economic program, announced in September, is targeting a current-account-deficit-to-GDP ratio of 4.7% in 2018, 3.3% this year, 2.7% in 2020, and 2.6% in 2021.

Source: AA