Turkey Current-Account Gap Widens More Than Estimated in May

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Turkey’s current-account deficit widened more than estimated from a year earlier in May as Turkey’s trade gap grew.

The shortfall in the current account, the broadest measure of trade in goods and services, rose to $3.99 billion from $3.65 billion a year earlier, the central bank in Ankara said in a statement posted on its website today. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists was $3.53 billion.

Exports declined 18.3 percent in May from a year earlier to 11.9 billion while imports fell 13.9 percent to $17.3 billion during the same period.

The lira was little changed after the figures were published and was trading 0.5 percent higher at 2.6648 per dollar at 10:31 a.m. in Istanbul.

Turkey’s current account deficit as a percentage of GDP fell to 5.7 percent in December 2014 from a year earlier and the improvement is expected to continue throughout 2015, according to Ozgur Altug, chief economist at BGC Partners.

“Declining commodity prices, slower economic activity and higher gold exports seem to be the primary reasons behind the improvement,” he said.

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