Turkey expected to post July current account surplus

Economists predict a surplus of $1.1 billion, the state-run Anadolu news agency said, citing a poll of 14 economists it conducted on Wednesday. Estimates ranged between a surplus of $160 million and a surplus of $1.5 billion, it said.

The current account is expected to register an overall deficit for the year of $4.5 billion, Anadolu said. That would equate to 0.6 percent of Turkey’s reported economic output of $722 billion.

Turkey has started registering monthly surpluses for the current account, the widest measure of inflows and outflows of goods, services and capital, after a currency crisis ripped through the economy last summer, pummelling demand for imports and making exports cheaper.

The Turkish central bank will publish the current account data on Friday.

Turkish Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak and his father-in law, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, are hailing the improving current account data as a success, saying government policy is ridding the country of historically high deficits.

Last month, Turkey reported a current account surplus for the 12 months to June, the first since Erdoğan’s government won power in 2002. The deficit was as wide as 6.5 percent of GDP last summer, just prior to the currency crisis.

The current account deficit totalled $48 billion in 2017, when the government was seeking to stimulate economic growth through consumer spending. It narrowed to $28 billion last year.