Current deficit increases as tourism income decreases

Current deficit increases as tourism income decreases

ISTANBUL - Reuters
Current deficit increases as tourism income decreases

Minister Çağlayan said gold imports have a serious effect on rising deficit, although a downward revision in tourism income also hiked it. DHA photo

Turkey’s September current account deficit finished $3.3 billion higher than expectations due to a downward revision in tourism income, especially because citizens of war-hit Syrians are no longer classified as tourists. 

Gold imports, meanwhile, have also been cited as a factor that has raised the current account deficit. Turkey’s current account deficit in the first nine months of the years totaled $49 billion, according to figures revealed by the Central Bank today. 

The number of people coming from Syria because of the country’s civil war has demonstrably increased, the state-run statistics body TÜİK said, adding that a majority of them do not come for tourism.

Tourism income below estimates 

TÜİK said the number of Syrian was calculated in the third quarter of 2013 by regarding circulation at the borders and that all figures since the third quarter of 2012 had been revised. Tourism income below forecasts and income balance under expectations played a significant role in the monthly rise in current account deficit, said Erste Chief Economist Nilüfer Sezgin. 

“We see that there are revisions of the current account deficit’s items, particularly tourism income,” she said, adding that an overbalance in the gold trade also effected a rise in cumulative current deficit.
Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan said the current account deficit increase to $49 billion represented a $10.6 billion rise over the same period a year earlier. 

“Gold imports worth around $12 billion have had a serious effect on it,” he said. The government’s medium-term economic program forecast a current account deficit of $58.8 billion by the end of the year.