The Central Bank managed to decrease the current account deficit for this year by $711 million by taking into account free trade zone activity within Turkey's economic borders, according to the bank's balance of payments report.
Earlier, economic activities in the free trade zones were not taken into consideration when calculating the account deficit. But when the Turkish Statistical Institute, or TÜİK, considered this factor and as Turkey's net exports from free trade zones exceed its imports, the rate of the current account deficit to gross national product was reduced from 5.7 percent to 5.6 percent.
According to the same report, increase in the current account deficit continued in the first quarter of this year. �Annual growth ratio in imports surpasses growth ratio in exports due to the increase in energy prices,� the report said. Global price increases and real export growth raised export rates from $23.2 billion to $33.1 billion. As a result of globally increasing prices and demand for goods that Turkey exports, the country's export performance improved as well.
The global slowdown is expected to curb demand from the European Union, but countries with growing oil income, such as Russia and the United Arab Emirates and new markets such as Switzerland and South Africa will help the continuation of high export performance, the report predicted. While exports to Russia hit $967 million during the first three months of last year, the figure increased to $1.55 billion this year. Likewise, $703 million of exports to the UAE rose to $1.42 billion.