• Gap in May $2.86 billion, compared with $4.27 billion year ago
  • Fall in crude oil price led to improvement in Turkey’s trade

Turkey’s current-account deficit narrowed for a 10th month in May on lower energy costs, but less than expected.

The shortfall in the current account, the broadest measure of trade in goods and services, shrank to $2.86 billion in May from $4.27 billion a year earlier, Turkey’s central bank said in a statement Thursday. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of eight analysts was for a $2.7 billion gap.

The annualized deficit has been shrinking since August on lower oil prices. Imports of mineral fuels, which include crude oil, declined 37 percent to $2.1 billion in May from a year earlier, according to the state statistics institute. Turkish gold shipments surged more than 10-fold in May from a year earlier, led by a big jump in sales to the U.K., further narrowing the current-account gap.

The deficit at the end of the year is expected to remain little changed from 2015 at about 4.5 percent of gross domestic product, according to estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Investors track the gap because Turkey relies on capital inflows to finance it, leaving the economy vulnerable to sudden changes in sentiment toward the nation’s assets.

The lira was little changed after the data and was trading 0.2 percent higher at 2.8933 per dollar at 10:02 a.m. in Istanbul.

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