Turkey: Trade deficit continues to widen rapidly in October
November 30, 2010
In October, exports increased 8.8% over the same month last year to reach USD 11.0 billion, which was up from the 5.5% expansion recorded in September. Exports had been expanding at a double-digit pace at the start of the year, primarily owing to stronger demand from Western Europe. In recent months, however, exports appear to be losing steam amid the ongoing uncertainty in the wake of the debt crisis in Europe. The October expansion was driven by strong shipments to Germany, which rose 23.0% over the same month last year. Turkey's exports are benefiting from buoyant growth of its main trade partner, which is expanding at a faster pace than other European economies. Despite the improvement seen in October, exports still remain below pre-crisis levels, with the 3-month sum in exports standing at USD 28.5 billion, well below the peak of USD 36.8 billion reached in July 2008. Imports continue to expand strongly, buttressed by resilient domestic demand. In October, imports soared 35.5% year-on-year, up from the 25.3% expansion recorded in September. As a result, the moving 12-month trade deficit is widening rapidly and reached USD 63.6 billion in October (from USD 60.0 billion in September).