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Turkey’s trade deficit at all-time high over rising energy prices: report

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Turkey’s trade deficit reached a record high in July as a result of increased energy prices, Bloomberg reported.

According to records dating back to 1984, the monthly gap increased to $10.7 billion, exceeding the $10.6 billion median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. According to Turkey’s state statistics agency (TurkStat), the shortfall from January to July was $62.2 billion, a 143.7 percent increase from the same period last year.

Last month’s monthly exports increased by 13.4 percent from the previous year to $18.6 billion, while imports increased by 41.4 percent to $29.2 billion.

Gold and precious metal imports increased by 600 percent to $2 billion.

Turkish officials are attempting to stimulate the economy by implementing an ultra-loose monetary policy in the hopes that affordable loans will reach industries and exports. However, high credit growth rates and robust domestic demand have also helped Turkey’s imports, driving up the demand for dollars.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began in February, the prognosis for the foreign trade balance has been worse, pushing energy prices to all-time highs. Although Russia, a significant supplier of natural gas and crude oil, has permitted Turkey to make some payments in rubles, the specifics of the agreement reached by Presidents Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Vladimir Putin in August are still unknown.

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