Duvar English

Turkey’s current account deficit increased by 162 percent and reached $2.9 billion in December from the same month a year earlier, the country’s Central Bank said on Feb. 14.

Official data showed that the figure widened by $1.7 billion from same month the previous year.

The country’s 12-month rolling surplus totaled $1.67 billion, the bank said.

A Feb. 12 survey by Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency showed that economists had projected the current account balance to post a $3 billion deficit in the month.

The estimates of a group of 14 economists ranged between $2.6 billion and $3.3 billion.

The survey also found Turkey’s current account balance is projected to post a $1.2 billion surplus in 2019.

The figure was driven by $2.1 billion rise in goods deficit recording net outflow of $3.4 billion, the bank said, adding that primary income gap also rose $93 million to $1.1 billion.

Current account surplus excluding gold and energy totaled 1.5 billion, indicating a fall of $1,4 million compared to December 2018.

Travel items, which constitute a major part of the services account, recorded a net inflow of $1.1 billion in December 2019, increasing $214 million compared to the same month of previous year, the bank added.

Commenting on data, Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said 12-month rolling surplus of $1.67 billion reflects the success of stabilization process in 2019.

“We will take firm steps towards our sustainable current account balance and growth targets in line with motto of transformation begins,” Albayrak said on Twitter.

The government will continue to support real sector and exports and to reduce costs, Albayrak noted.

Also on Feb. 14, Turkish Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan said that the country’s services exports reached $53.7 billion in 2019, a new record high.

The services balance posted a $31.5 billion surplus in the same period and contributed to the country’s current account balance, Pekcan said.

“Thanks to the efforts of our service exporters and our services reaching all over the world, we have full belief that many more records will be broken,” she added.

The ministry will continue to support service exporters and make efforts towards this end, Pekcan also said.

Last year Turkey’s overall exports also set a new record high of $180.5 billion.