Turkey’s foreign trade shortfall increased by 54% y/y to $5.75bn in February, preliminary data from the Customs Ministry showed on March 2.
Exports were up 9% y/y to $13.2bn but imports rose at the faster pace of 20% y/y to $18.9bn.
On the back of the February data, the foreign trade deficit widened 83% y/y to $14.8bn in January-February.
Exports increased by 10% y/y to $25.6bn and imports were up 29% y/y to $40.5bn.
The latest data from the Turkish Exporters’ Assembly (TIM) showed on March 1 that Turkey’s exports increased by 15% y/y to reach $12.9bn in February. Turkish exports amounted to $25.1bn across January-February, a 16% increase from the same period of last year, according to the TIM.
The latest business sentiment survey of the central bank showed that export orders for the next three months jumped by 11% m/m to 130.9 on the index in February from 118.1 in January.
According to the latest data from the statistics institute TUIK, Turkey’s foreign trade shortfall widened by 109% y/y to stand at a record high of $9.07bn in January. Exports were up 11% y/y to $12.5bn but imports rose at the faster pace of 38% y/y to reach $21.5bn in the month.
Anxieties over Turkey's overheating economy are strengthening over growing imports and, as a result, current account deficits.
The foreign trade deficit rose by 37% y/y to $77bn in 2017. Exports were up 10% y/y to $157bn but imports rose at the faster pace of 18% y/y to reach $234bn.
The government is forecasting a foreign trade deficit of $68bn for 2018 with exports reaching $169bn and imports amounting to $237bn.
“Despite strong export growth, buoyant domestic demand pushed up imports (including for nonmonetary gold) throughout 2017,” S&P Global Ratings said last month.
S&P expects the current account deficit will narrow somewhat in 2018 to 4.5% of GDP on the back of continued export growth.