Türkiye’s current account balance is forecasted to post a rare surplus in June, driven partly by robust tourism and lower energy bills, a survey showed Monday.
The $426 million (TL 11.50 billion) June surplus estimate in the Reuters survey is based on the median response of 14 economists, whose poll forecasts ranged from a $1.1 billion surplus to a $1 billion deficit.
Türkiye’s trade deficit, a major component of the current account, declined 37.3% year-over-year in June to $5.16 billion, according to official data.
The median forecast of six economists for the current account deficit for the full year of 2023 was $41 billion, with estimates ranging between $38 billion and $50.8 billion.
“We expect the current account balance to improve sharply to a surplus in June on seasonal factors (including) a lower energy import bill and high tourism income, (and) monetary tightening that started after the elections,” Goldman Sachs said in a note.
Since June, the central bank has hiked its policy rate to 17.5% from 8.5% and pledged further tightening to fight inflation, while the government has introduced tax and fee hikes to boost budget income.
“We are seeing the first signs of this tightening in June BoP, but risks remain,” Goldman told clients.
“Although the upward tax adjustments and the slowdown in loan growth are likely to offset this going forward, we think the gradual unwinding of macroprudential measures and the uncertainty around the funding of the budget can undermine the (central bank’s) ability to continue tightening.”
The tightening drive marks a reversal from an easing drive that saw the central bank cut its official borrowing costs to 8.5% from 19% since 2021. The easing trend saw inflation peak at a 24-year high of 85.5% in October last year.
Inflation cooled to 38.21% in June but rose to 47.83% last month due to the Turkish lira’s decline and various tax hikes.
The monetary policy reversal came after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s victory in the May elections, after which he named a new Cabinet to undertake the economic U-turn. The government is expected to update its economic forecasts for the next three years in September.
The central bank is scheduled to announce current account data for June on Friday.