Turkish economy showing 'praiseworthy performance' with current account deficit at 6-year low
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULFeb 15, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Feb 15, 2016 12:00 am
Economy Minister Mustafa Elitaş said the current account deficit hit a six-year low in 2015, adding that this positive trend would help the objective of bringing the ratio of the current account deficit to gross domestic product (GDP) to 4.4 percent, as the Medium Term Program requires.
Stressing that the economy has displayed a "praiseworthy" performance in its struggle with the current account deficit over the past two years, Elitaş said the downward trend in the current account deficit continued significantly last year as well and dropped to $32.2 billion, marking a 26.1 percent fall compared to the previous year. He said this is the lowest current account deficit has been in the past six years. "As well as the decline in oil prices and imports, macro-prudential measures, which are practiced in a disciplined manner, played a significant part in this performance."
Elitaş announced the Economy Ministry's budget plan for 2016 during a presentation at Parliament's Planning and Budget Commission. Underlining that the weak growth performance in the global economy had a negative impact on dynamism in imports and exports, Elitaş said the total volume of goods trade is expected to increase by 2.8 percent and 3.9 percent in terms of the amount in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
Elitaş said global trade declined by 11.2 percent in terms of value in the first 11 months of 2015, attributing the downward trend to the appreciation of the dollar against other major currencies and to the fall in commodity prices, especially oil.
According to Elitaş, Turkey's exports to the U.S., the EU, China, Japan and South Korea shrank by 7.1 percent, 12.9 percent, 2.9 percent, 9.4 percent and 8 percent, respectively in 2015 compared to the previous year. He said that exports declined by 6.7 percent and stood at $143.9 billion, while imports tumbled by 14.4 percent and were realized at $207.2 billion last year.
Turkey's foreign trade deficit plummeted by 25.2 percent and was actualized at $63.3 billion, and the export-import coverage ratio increased to 69.5 percent to 65.1 percent in 2015. Elitaş said Turkey grew faster than surrounding countries, and its current account deficit dropped in 2015, adding that exports soared by 2 percent in terms of the amount in 2015 compared to the previous year. Although Turkey exported more goods in 2015, exports declined in terms of value due to the rise in the exchange rate of the dollar and the decline in commodity prices.