Better Turkey Trade Leads Annual Gap to Lowest Since 2010

Turkey’s 12-month current-account deficit narrowed in September to the lowest since 2010 as the nation’s foreign trade balance improved.

The monthly gap in the current account, the broadest measure of trade in goods and services, shrank by more than a third in September from a year earlier to $2.22 billion, the central bank in Ankara said on its website today. The annual shortfall fell to $46.6 billion, the bank said, revising the figure down from $47.7 billion. It’s the lowest level since December 2010.

The gap has been shrinking since the beginning of the year due to tepid domestic demand and strong exports buoyed by a weak lira. The central bank’s decision in January to raise the cost of borrowing and government-backed restrictions on loans have reduced consumers’ appetite to spend, said Yeliz Karabulut, an analyst at ALB Menkul Degerler in Istanbul. Imports dropped more than 4 percent in the first three quarters of the year while exports rose almost 7 percent.

“We’re witnessing mainly the consequences of the central bank’s decision to tighten access to credit,” Karabulut said by phone. “There is a significant slowdown in domestic demand.”

The lira gained 0.2 percent to 2.2479 per dollar at 4 p.m. in Istanbul. The yield on Turkey’s two-year government notes fell 5 basis points to 8.31 percent.

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