Turkish trade deficit biggest since 2013
Turkey's foreign trade gap widened 64 percent in December from a year earlier to the largest in four years, as imports grew at a much faster pace than exports.
The deficit grew to $9.2 billion from $5.6 billion a year ago, the state statistics office said on Wednesday. It was the biggest gap since December 2013. Imports surged 25 percent, driven by intermediate and capital goods, while exports increased at a much more modest 8.6 percent.
Concern about Turkey’s trade deficit intensified last year as the government cut some taxes and stimulated the economy to encourage growth. Imports are a major contributor to the current account deficit, which must be funded by portfolio inflows or foreign investment.
Imports jumped a monthly 12 percent on seasonal and calendar-adjusted terms compared to November 2017, while exports increased just 1 percent, the statistics office said.
The trade deficit for the whole of 2017 was $76.7 billion versus $56.1 billion the year earlier.