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Turkey’s current account remains in deficit for 10th month: report

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Turkey’s current account remained in deficit for a 10th consecutive month as the trade balance took a hit from a global rally in energy prices, Bloomberg reported.

The deficit widened to $3.1 billion in August, compared with a surplus of $1.1 billion in the same month a year earlier, Turkey’s central bank said on Tuesday. The median of 15 estimates in a Bloomberg survey was for a gap of $3.2 billion. The shortfall for the first eight months of this year widened to $39.7 billion.

Tourism revenue was $5.1 billion, with services posting a surplus of $7.2 billion. Foreign tourist arrivals rose by an annual 58 percent in August, according to a separate data release.

Official reserves rose by $10.8 billion in August. Russia is a likely source of funding, with Turkish officials telling Bloomberg in July that Rosatom Corp. was in the process of transferring $15 billion to a local subsidiary building the $20 billion Akkuyu nuclear plant on the Mediterranean coast.

The central bank will chair its next rate-setting meeting on Oct. 20 and publish the final inflation report of this year a week later. The bank has cut its benchmark interest rate by a cumulative 200 basis points in the last two months, citing a slowdown in economic activity.

The foreign trade deficit is expected to reach $105 billion this year, according to the country’s medium-term program published in September, fueled by the rally in energy prices since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began in February.

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