Deficit still marred by fuel prices
ISTANBUL/ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
A rise in energy prices increased Turkey’s imports by $850 million in February.Turkey’s current account deficit dropped to $10.1 billion in January-February 2012, according to figures released by the Central Bank yesterday. The gap was down 15.88 percent year-on-year in January-February 2012, having been at $12.058 billion in the same period of 2011.
Had it not been for the increase in energy prices, February’s current account deficit would have been $3.4 billion instead of $4.2 billion, Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan said in a written statement after the results were released. “The rise in energy prices increased our imports by $850 million in February, and we saw a similar picture in January.” Meanwhile, Çağlayan said, foreign investment in Turkey amounted to $764 million in February, a solid foreign direct investment (FDI) performance is expected in 2012, similar to 2011.
Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek also blamed rising energy prices for the moderate improvement in the country’s current account deficit. “If petroleum prices had not gone up so much, the current account problem would have been resolved. If last month’s current account deficit was $6 billion, it was really $2 billion, if you remove the contribution of petroleum. In other words, our efforts are paying off, but still the improvement in the current account deficit would have been much more marked had it not been for petroleum prices. For every $10 increase in petroleum prices, Turkey’s current account deficit goes up by $4-4.5 billion.”