Turkish December current account deficit to narrow: Experts

ANKARA - Turkey's current account deficit for last year is forecast at $45.5 billion, a narrowing of $20 billion from last year, a group of leading economists said Monday.

A panel of 19 experts surveyed by The Anadolu Agency forecast a $6.8 billion deficit for December 2014, a narrowing of $1.5 billion from the same month in the previous year.

Turkey's central bank will release the official figures on Wednesday.

Turkey´s current account deficit for 2013 widened 32.9 percent to reach $65 billion, up from $48.9 billion in 2012, the Turkish central bank said in a statement.

The downward trend began in January 2014 and gained momentum after the central bank hiked interest rates in response to the U.S. dollar’s rise against the Turkish lira.

However, the U.S. dollar jumped to a record high against the Turkish lira at 2.50 on Monday as Turkish officials called for the central bank to cut interest rates further.

Experts say that declining oil prices have had significant positive effects on Turkey’s current account deficit, as well as on inflation, which was at 7.24 percent in January.

Turkey’s energy imports declined by almost 2 percent in 2014 compared with the previous year, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute.

The country spent nearly $55 billion on energy imports in 2014. Oil, natural gas and coal imports meet 70 percent of Turkey's energy needs.

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