ISTANBUL - Daily News with wires

The downward trend in Turkey’s exports failed to turn around in August, as exports declined 29.8 percent compared to the same month a year previously.
The country’s export volume barely reached $7.7 billion, according to an announcement made by Mehmet Büyükekşi, the chairman of the Turkish Exporters’ Assembly, in the Yüksekova district of Hakkari, a city near Turkey’s southeastern border.
Turkey’s total exports within the first eight months of the year were $60.34 billion, Bloomberg quoted Büyükekşi as saying. In the past 12 months, exports declined 24.4 percent, to $97.7 billion.
Not all the economic news was negative, however. According to data from the Turkish Statistical Institute, or TurkStat, the country’s trade deficit narrowed in July from a year earlier – the 11th consecutive month of contraction – as lower oil prices and falling output reduced Turkey’s import bill.
The trade gap contracted to $3.4 billion from $8 billion in the previous year, the Ankara-based statistics agency reported Monday on its Web site.
The deficit is narrowing as the global economic crisis stifles consumer consumption of imports and industrial demand for raw materials from abroad, reported Bloomberg. The economy contracted 13.8 percent in the first quarter of 2009 and is not expected to expand until the last quarter, according to Central Bank forecasts. A slump in energy prices is also helping to reduce the cost of imports.
The current-account deficit, the widest measure of trade in goods and services, narrowed to $20.3 billion in the 12 months through June, or less than three percent of gross domestic product, from $23.9 billion a month earlier, the Central Bank said Aug. 10. The gap peaked on a 12-month rolling basis at $49 billion in August 2008.
Exports fell 28 percent to $9 billion in July from a year earlier, the statistics agency reported, adding that imports decreased 40 percent to $12.4 billion.
Crude-oil prices were around $66 a barrel in July this year, compared with as much as $145 a barrel a year earlier.