Turkey's trade deficit widens to $4.15 billion in May

Turkey’s trade gap with the rest of the world grew by an annual 20.7 percent last month, the Trade Ministry said on Wednesday.

The deficit widened to $4.15 billion from $3.44 billion in May last year, the ministry said, citing preliminary data.

Exports increased by an annual 65.5 percent to $16.5 billion. Imports rose by 54 percent to $20.6 billion.

Turkey is seeking to boost exports to help spur economic growth and to reduce its current account deficit, which reached 5.1 percent of gross domestic product last year as imports increased. Turkey relies on foreign currency inflows from tourism and investment to help finance the deficit, but both revenue sources have slumped over the past year.

The trade deficit for the first five months of the year narrowed by an annual 13.1 percent to $18.3 billion, as exports grew by 38.4 percent and imports expanded by 25.3 percent, the ministry said.