Turkey's current account deficit expected to be $10 bln in January
According to a Reuters poll on Wednesday, Turkey is expected to post a current account deficit of $10 billion in January due to gold imports, while the deficit in 2023 is estimated at $43.5 billion.
The median estimate of 11 economists for the January current account deficit was $10 billion, with projections ranging from $6 billion to $11.1 billion.
The Central Bank of Turkey is expected to announce January current account data on March 13.
Turkey's trade deficit, a key component of the current account, widened 38% in January to $14.24 billion, data show, mainly due to a sharp increase in gold imports and rising energy import costs.
Household demand for gold has increased due to traditional buying habits and recent high inflation.
According to the Institute of Statistics, the trade deficit excluding energy and gold amounted to $1.79 billion in the same period.
The median forecast of six economists for the 2023 deficit was $43.5 billion, with estimates ranging from $35 billion to $50 billion.
Ankara sees the deficit at $22 billion this year, according to official projections released in September. In 2022, the deficit was $48.8 billion, mainly due to high energy costs and gold imports.
Under President Tayyip Erdogan's new plan, authorities are working to turn Turkey's chronic current account deficits into a surplus, which the central bank says will contribute to price stability.
Economists are watching the impact of massive earthquakes in the southeast of the country, as well as the course of energy and gold imports, after authorities introduced measures last month to limit gold imports.
According to Commerce Ministry data, the February earthquakes led to a $1.5 billion drop in exports and contributed to a 52.8% year-on-year increase in the trade deficit to $12.19 billion.