Turkey's current account balance showed a $986 million surplus in November, improving from last year's deficit of $4.2 billion, the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) announced Friday.
The figures fell slightly below expectations, as economists had forecast a surplus of $1.05 billion on average.
In November, excluding gold and energy, the current account balance posted a surplus of $4.5 billion, improving from a deficit of $898 million in the same month of 2017.
The current account surplus in November is mainly attributable to the goods item indicating a $523 million surplus in contrast to a $4.78 billion deficit observed in the same month of the previous year, as well as a $386 million increase in net inflows in the services item realizing $1.48 billion, the CBRT said in a statement.
Travel item under services recorded a net inflow of $1.2 billion, rising by $201 million, compared to November 2017, said the central bank.
November marks the fourth straight month the current account has been showing a surplus. In August, the balance posted a surplus for the first time in three years with $2.59 billion, then showed a $1.83-billion surplus in September and a $2.77-billion surplus in October.
The bank also said that the 12-month rolling deficit fell to $33.93 billion in November from $39.4 billion in October.
In 2017, Turkey's annual current account deficit was some $47.35 billion – around 5.6 percent of the country's gross domestic product. Over the last two decades, Turkey's highest annual current account deficit was recorded in 2011, at $74.4 billion.
Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak in December said that there were strong signs that the current accounts would further improve by the end of 2018, with the 12-month rolling deficit expected to fall below $30 billion.
Turkey's New Economic Program (NEP), announced in late September, is targeting a current-account-deficit-to-GDP ratio of 4.7 percent in 2018, 3.3 percent this year, 2.7 percent in 2020, and 2.6 percent in 2021.