POLL-Turkey's current account recorded $3.3 bln deficit in December

Credit: REUTERS/MURAD SEZER

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Official data to be released February 13

ISTANBUL, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Turkey's current account is expected to record a deficit of $3.3 billion in December, bringing the full-year deficit to $46.9 billion, a Reuters poll showed on Wednesday.

The current account TRCURA=ECI forecasts of the eight economists polled ranged from deficits of $2.2 billion to $4 billion.

The trade deficit, a major component of the current account, declined 37.8% year-on-year in December to $6.04 billion, while the 2023 trade deficit narrowed slightly to $106 billion as the government took steps to decrease imports and encourage exports.

The current account balance recorded a surplus of $1.88 billion in September and $186 million in October due to tourism revenues and a narrower trade deficit. It turned to a deficit of $2.7 billion in November.

The median forecast for the full-year deficit for last year was $46.9 billion, with estimates ranging between a deficit of $45.8 billion and $48 billion.

"With the help of the normalization in gold and energy imports and the decline in raw material imports due to moderate course of material prices...the current account deficit may fall below $30 billion by the summer months of 2024," Serkan Gonencler, chief economist at Gedik Yatirim, said.

"However, with the reversal of base effect in the last few months of the year, we expect the deficit to move above $35 billion towards the end of the year."

Since June, the central bank has hiked its policy rate to 45% from 8.5% and pledged to fight inflation, while the government has introduced tax and fee hikes to boost its budget income.

It also introduced measures to cap strong domestic demand, one of the main reasons for higher imports, and to boost investments and exports to ensure improvement in the current account balance.

In September, Ankara had said it expected a deficit of $42.5 billion and $34.7 billion in 2023 and 2024 respectively, from the previous year's $48.8 billion, which was largely driven by energy and gold.

The central bank is scheduled to announce December current account data at 0700 GMT on Feb 13.

(Reporting by Ezgi Erkoyun; Editing by Jonathan Spicer)

((ezgi.erkoyun@thomsonreuters.com; +90-212-350 7051; Reuters Messaging: ezgi.erkoyun.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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