Turkish April current account deficit $1.33 billion, less than forecast

Credit: REUTERS/UMIT BEKTAS

Turkey's current account deficit widened to a less-than-forecasted $1.33 billion in April, the central bank said on Friday, setting the stage for the gap to shrink in the months ahead thanks to higher exports and tourism.

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ISTANBUL, June 14 (Reuters) - Turkey's current account deficit widened to a less-than-forecasted $1.33 billion in April, the central bank said on Friday, setting the stage for the gap to shrink in the months ahead thanks to higher exports and tourism.

The current account deficit has narrowed significantly since a currency crisis last year saw the lira fall some 30%. That raised import prices and narrowed the trade deficit, a major element of the current account balance.

The median estimate of 14 economists polled by Reuters showed a deficit of $1.5 billion in April while year-end forecasts showed a deficit of $10.35 billion.

"The narrowing in current account deficit will continue in the coming months. We forecast a recovery in the economy in the second half of the year and expect $6.7 billion of C/A deficit at year-end," said Hande Sekerci, an economist in Is Portfoy.

Turkey's annual current account deficit, which stood at $27.63 billion last year, has been one of the main concerns of investors because it makes the economy reliant on speculative inflow to finance the shortfall.

Ankara expects the current account deficit to be 3.3% of the GDP at $26 billion at the end of this year, according to its economic programme. Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said the annual current account balance will show a surplus starting from June.

(Reporting by Behiye Selin Taner; Writing by Ezgi Erkoyun; Editing by Jonathan Spicer)

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

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