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Turkey’s trade deficit widens 38 percent to $77 billion

Staff Writer |
Turkey’s trade deficit widened by 37.5 percent last year to $77.1 billion, data from the Customs and Trade Ministry showed.

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The country’s foreign trade volume accounted for $391.3 billion, rising 14.7 percent in the January-December 2017 period, according to ministry data.

In the month of December 2017, the trade deficit rose 71.4 percent year-on-year to $9.6 billion, with exports rising 8.6 percent to $13.9 billion but imports up 27.7 percent to $23.45 billion.

Over the course of 2017, exports rose 10.2 percent to $157.1 billion, the second-highest export volume in the history of the Turkish Republic, according to the provisional data from the ministry. Turkey’s highest export figure was recorded in 2014 at $157.6 billion.

Turkey exceeded its export target of $156.5 billion cited in the Medium-Term Economic Program by year’s end.

The automotive sector again became the country’s top exporter with exports worth $23.9 billion, followed by the machinery sector and the clothing sector with exports worth $13.8 billion and $8.8 billion respectively.

The Turkish economy expanded beyond forecasts in the first quarter (5.3 percent), second quarter (5.4 percent), and third quarter (11.1 percent) of 2017, according to the Turkish Statistics Institute.

Imports, meanwhile, climbed by 17.9 percent to $234.2 billion in 2017. Turkey most imported item was mineral fuels and oil, worth $37.2 billion in 2017.

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