Turkey: Current account deficit moderates in March
The current account recorded a USD 4.5 billion deficit in March, improving from the USD 8.8 billion deficit clocked in February (March 2022: USD 5.6 billion deficit). Meanwhile, in the 12 months to March, the current account recorded a USD 54.2 billion deficit, compared to the USD 55.3 billion deficit booked in February.
The merchandise trade balance improved from the previous month, recording a USD 6.3 billion shortfall in March (February 2023: USD 10.5 billion deficit). Merchandise exports climbed 3.2% over the same month last year in March, on the heels of February’s 7.3% drop. Meanwhile, merchandise imports rose 1.9% in March over the same month last year (February: +10.5% yoy).
March’s notable moderation—chiefly driven by lower gold imports and higher exports— suggests that the impact of the ongoing global economic slowdown could be less than previously anticipated and offers a glimmer of hope for the coming months.
Muhammet Mercan, chief economist at ING, commented:
“Overall, given the ongoing loose policy mix weighing on reserves, there is a growing need for a rebalancing in the economy. Over the rest of this year, we will likely see an improvement in the current account as evidenced by recent normalisation in energy prices and gold imports, while a recovery in global demand should also be supportive for the foreign trade balance.”