Turkey's current account posts $3.33 billion deficit in March

Turkish Central Bank has released its March 2021 balance of payments data as the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) announced a drop in unemployment, claiming that more than half a million people found jobs between February and March.

K. Murat Yıldız / Duvar English 

Turkey's current account deficit as of March 2021 was 3.32 billion dollars, which is 2.12 billion dollars more than the same month the previous year, according to the Turkish Central Bank. As a result, the current account deficit for the last 12 months was 36.19 billion dollars.

In comparison to the same month of the previous year, the foreign trade deficit decreased by 1.39 billion dollars to 2.95 billion dollars, while the inflow from services balance increased by 374 million dollars to land at 767 million dollars.

According to economists polled by the state-run Anadolu Agency, the current account deficit for March was expected to be 3.6 billion dollars.

In March of last year, the current account deficit, excluding gold and energy, was 1.64 billion dollars, compared to a deficit of 319 million dollars in the same period the previous year. Also in comparison to the same month the previous year, net revenues from ‘travel’ under the services balance increased by 228 million dollars to land at 742 million dollars.

February current account deficit revised

The current account deficit for February was revised from 2.61 billion dollars to 2.58 billion dollars.

Non-residents made net sales of 1.03 billion dollars in the stock market and 915 million dollars in the government domestic debt securities market in March, according to sub-item analysis.

Domestic banks' net effective and deposit assets in their foreign correspondents increased by 3.64 billion dollars. Foreign banks' domestic deposits rose by a total of 1.05 billion dollars, with a net increase of 1.77 billion dollars and a net decrease of 720 million liras.

Banks involved in international bond issues made 229 million dollars in repayments during the same period, while the general government made a net repayment of 3.64 billion dollars.

In March, the government made a net repayment of 136 million dollars, banks made 374 million dollars in repayments, and other sectors made 202 million dollars in repayments on loans obtained from abroad. In March, the official reserves showed a net decrease of 6.16 billion dollars.

Also in March, direct investment net inflow totaled 363 million dollars. Portfolio investments experienced a net outflow of 5.69 billion dollars during the same period.

Unemployment decreased in March, TÜİK says

Meanwhile, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK), which has been the center of many controversies and heavily criticized by experts for its unreliable data, announced that in the first quarter of this year, calendar-adjusted industrial production increased by 12.3 percent, and seasonal and calendar-adjusted industrial production increased by 2.6 percent compared to the previous quarter.

TÜİK also announced on May 10 that Turkey's unemployment rate was 13.1 percent in March, down 0.1 percent from the previous month, adding that the number of unemployed people ages 15 and up rose by 59,000 since February to 4.2 million.

According to TÜİK’s data for March 2021, the number of employed people increased by 550,000 to 28.8 million, up 0.8 points from the previous month, and the employment rate was 44.3 percent, up 0.8 points.