Turkey’s trade deficit surged 38.4 per cent in July from a year earlier to $9.01 billion, data showed on Friday, but lagged forecasts, highlighting a deceleration in import growth that may help ease a worryingly high current account deficit.
Imports rose 29.9 per cent to $20.9 billion in July, slowing sharply after more than 40 per cent cumulative growth for the first seven months of the year.
The pace of exports picked up in July compared with the previous two months and increased 24.2 per cent to $11.9 billion.“The pace of growth in imports slowed significantly and the increase of exports accelerated. This is a positive figure,” said Gizem Oztok, an economist at Garanti Securities. Analysts had forecast a July trade deficit of $9.4 billion.
On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, imports accelerated, rising 1.6 per cent from June, compared with a previous increase of 0.7 per cent. However, exports also gained momentum, rising 6.3 per cent from June, compared with a previous increase of 2.7 per cent.
Worried about a current account deficit that had reached alarmingly high levels, the central bank late last year introduced a new policy mix of lower rates to deter hot money inflows and higher reserve requirement ratios to curb loan growth and dampen rampant domestic demand. Analysts see the current account deficit falling slightly in July, from a $7.55 billion deficit in June.“The central bank suggested it expects a deficit of $5 billion (for July). Although we calculate a deficit of $7 billion, the central bank controls data better than we do. So a deficit of $5 billion wouldn’t be surprising,” Oztok said. July current account deficit data will be released on Sept.12.
In the first seven months of the year, the trade deficit widened 79.1 per cent to $63 billion with imports up 41.3 per cent and exports rising 20.5 per cent, the statistics institute said.
Growth in tourism will also help narrow the current account deficit. Data on Friday showed the number of foreign visitors to Turkey rose 5.49 per cent in July year-on-year to 4.6 million people, but that was slower than an 8.02 per cent increase in June.
From / Gulf Today