Trade deficit widens by 15 pct in February

Trade deficit widens by 15 pct in February

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Trade deficit widens by 15 pct in February

Turkish trade deficit raises by 15 percent last month over February 2012. REUTERS photo

Turkey’s trade deficit rose by 15.2 percent last month over February 2012 to nearly $7 billion despite a bumper period for exports, according to official figures.

Turkish exports increased by 5.8 percent, reaching 12.4 billion, but failed to cover imports, which surged 9 percent and amounted to $19.4 billion, according to provisional data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) and the Customs and Trade Ministry.

Still, the published data showed that Turkey’s February export level was the highest figure ever for the month.

“For our exports, which have been surging for 36 consecutive months, we aim to reach $158 billion by the end of year,” Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan said in a statement, noting that Turkish exports had come in at over $10 billion for the 25th straight month.

Turkey’s increased export totals compare favorably with other major countries, including Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Japan, Taiwan and Norway, which posted falling exports in February, he said.

Çağlayan said the increase in the imports was normal, as it stemmed from an economic boom.