Turkey’s current account deficit more than doubled year-on-year in June to $7.55 billion but the Central Bank governor said the deteriorating trend would stop and July’s shortfall could improve to $5 billion, sending bond yields to 6-month lows.The deficit, which has caused increasing alarm this year and weighed heavily on the country’s assets, widened to $45 billion in the first six months of the year from $20.2 billion a year earlier.
Central bank governor Erdem Basci told Bloomberg News agency it could narrow to $27 billion in the second half of the year and Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan gave further reassurances in a television interview that it would stay under 10 per cent of GDP. The IMF has forecast the shortfall at 10.5 per cent of economic growth.The yield on Turkeys’ benchmark May 15, 2013 bond fell to a six-month low of 7.99 per cent in reaction to the comments, its lowest level since the beginning of February, from a close of 8.08 per cent on Wednesday. The June deficit data, which matched the consensus forecast in a Reuters poll, still made grim reading however. “The deterioration in the current account deficit is at full speed and the financing quality continues to worsen,” said Ozgur Altug, an economist at brokers BGC Partners.“The 12-month rolling current account deficit reached $72.5 billion, which is equal to 9.7 per cent of estimated GDP.”
Analysts have raised their annual deficit forecasts each month this year as Turkey’s economy continues to post strong growth and as unorthodox policies introduced late last year by the central bank fail to rein in the shortfall.
Imports have been accelerating at more than twice the rate of exports amid a domestic demand boom fuelled by cheap loans and double-digit economic growth.
The monthly gap was slightly down from May’s $7.75 billion, and the rise in the deficit year-on-year was 121 per cent in June compared to 164 per cent in May.
Last December Turkey’s central bank introduced a policy mix of lower interest rates to curb inflows and higher reserve ratios for banks to limit rampant loan growth.
From / Gulf Today