Turkey cuts jobless rate, current account deficit

Turkey cuts jobless rate, current account deficit

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey cuts jobless rate, current account deficit

This file photo shows the Haydarpaşa Port on the Anatolian side of Istanbul. Turkey’s increasing exports volume helps cut the current account deficit sharply. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL

Both the current account deficit and unemployment have improved according to the latest official data disclosed yesterday, reinforcing the bright outlook for the Turkish economy following the recent upgrade to the investment level by the Fitch Ratings agency.

The current account balance in September recorded a deficit of $2.7 billion, the Central Bank said yesterday. Accordingly, the current account deficit in the first nine months of the year fell $21.2 billion to nearly $39.3 billion posting a 35 percent year-on-year improvement. The improvement in the current account deficit on a 12-month rolling basis, which started in November 2011, continued in September. The 12-month rolling deficit declined from $58.9 billion in August 2012 to $55.2 billion in September.

The favorable data stemmed particularly from the general slowdown in the economy, increasing gold exports. Current account deficit to gross domestic ratio declined to 7 percent.

Role of gold sale
Turkey became a net gold exporter again by around $4 billion between January and September, against a net gold import bill of $4.5 billion in the same period of last year, thanks to sizeable gold exports to Iran and United Arab Emirates.

The unemployment rate increased to 8.8 percent in August from 8.4 percent a month ago, while it fell from 9.2 percent last August, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) said. This figure is the average for July, August and September together. The seasonal-adjusted unemployment rate rose slightly to 9.2 percent from 9.1 percent during this period.

Balancing will continue
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan said yesterday that the economy had been put through a balancing process in a controlled manner this year, particularly due to inflation and current account risks, but economic growth is among the world’s strongest.

“Turkey will be one of the fastest growing economies this year and next, despite our balancing policy,” he said.