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Turkey: Concerns over Growth, Trade Deficit after Slump in Dec. Exports

Turkey: Concerns over Growth, Trade Deficit after Slump in Dec. Exports

Sunday, 6 January, 2019 - 11:45
A money changer counts Turkish lira bills at a currency exchange office in central Istanbul, Turkey, August 21, 2015. REUTERS/Murad Sezer
Ankara - Saeed Abdulrazzak
The Turkish Ministry of Customs and Trade revealed that the country’s exports grew at the slowest pace in four months in December. This announcement rose concerns regarding the slump of economic growth, threatening efforts to improve trade deficit that reached USD55 billion end of 2018.

Exports rose 0.4 percent in Dec. 2018 compared to the same period in 2017, according to preliminary Trade Ministry data. Turkey imports also relapsed around 28.2 percent in Dec. reaching USD16.57 billion.

The data revealed a 71.1 percent slowdown in trade balance deficit in Dec., compared to the same period of 2017, reaching USD2.67 billion.

Trade ministry data showed that exports amounted to USD168.1 billion compared to the past record-level reached in 2017 at USD157.6 billion, therefore rising 7.1 percent. Imports dropped around 4.6 percent, compared to last year, standing at USD223.1 billion.

Turkey's trade deficit tumbled 28.4 percent in 2018 to USD55 billion, compared to 2017.

"We have seen the positive impact of economic re-balancing on exports and imports, we predict that this impact will continue in 2019," Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan said Saturday.

The Turkish Finance and Treasury Ministry also announced on Dec. 12 issuing dollar- and euro-denominated bonds to individual investors between Dec. 17-21 in order to diversify the borrowing instruments and to broaden investor base.

However, in another statement released on Dec. 20, the ministry said that “considering the demand from the investors, the collection period is extended to Dec. 26."

The maturity of the euro and US dollar-denominated bonds will be one year with annual returns of 2.5 percent and 4 percent, respectively.

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