UPDATES WITH MORE DETAILS
By Muhammed Ali Gurtas
ANKARA (AA) - Turkey's current account deficit fell to a 10-year-low in 2018, the country’s Central Bank announced on Thursday.
Last year, the current account balance posted a deficit of $27.6 billion, improving from a nearly $47.5 billion deficit in 2017.
The figure was the lowest since 2009, while the country's highest annual current account deficit over the last decade was seen in 2011, with $74.4 billion .
On a monthly basis, the balance showed a $1.4 billion deficit in December, after showing a surplus of $986 million for four consecutive months.
Thursday's figures also met expectations, as an Anadolu Agency survey on Tuesday showed that a group of 17 economists had forecast an annual deficit of $27.7 billion.
The survey also forecast a current account deficit of $1.49 billion in December, with expectations ranging between $0.9 billion and $1.8 billion.
In December, excluding gold and energy, the current account balance indicated a $2.5 billion surplus, versus $2.4 billion in the same month of 2017.
"This month, the goods item recorded a net outflow of $1.68 billion, indicating a decrease of $5.86 billion compared to the same month of the previous year.
"Travel items under services recorded a net inflow of $898 million, increasing by $118 million compared to the same month of the previous year," the bank said.
According to the Anadolu Agency survey, Turkey's end-2019 current account balance is expected to show a deficit of $19.8 billion, with expectations ranging between $5 billion and $28 billion.
The country's new economic program, announced in September 2018, targeted a current-account-deficit-to-GDP ratio of 4.7 percent last year, 3.3 percent this year, 2.7 percent next year, and 2.6 percent in 2021.