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Current account deficit widens in May to $5.9 bln, central bank announces

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Turkey’s current account deficit widened by $516 million year-on-year to reach $5.9 billion in May, the state-run Anadolu agency reported on Wednesday, citing the central bank.

The country’s 12-month rolling deficit reached $57.6 billion in May, according to a Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (TCMB) report on the balance of payments.

“This development in the current account was mainly attributable to a $678 million increase in the goods deficit recording net outflow of $6.5 billion and a $214 million rise in the primary income deficit to $1.2 billion,” the bank said.

Service items recorded a net inflow of $1.9 billion, increasing by $768 million compared to the same month of the previous year, mainly stemming from a $549 million net increase in travel revenues, which were observed as $1.7 billion in May 2018, the bank added.

Meanwhile, the country’s current account deficit in the first five months of this year amounted to $27.7 billion, rising from $10.2 billion in the same period last year.

On Monday, the Anadolu Agency Finance Desk’s survey of 14 experts had predicted the current account deficit at $5.5 billion in May. Economists also forecast the year-end current deficit average at $53.6 billion.

Turkey’s annual current account deficit in 2017 was around $47.3 billion, compared to the previous year’s figure of $33.1 billion.

According to official figures, the country’s highest annual current account deficit in the last 20 years was in 2011 with $74.4 billion.

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