Turkey’s foreign trade deficit widened 38.4 percent year-on-year to $14.24 billion in January, Reuters reported, citing official data on Monday, with imports surging 20.7 percent and exports up 10.3 percent.
The Turkish Statistical Institute said imports climbed to $33.61 billion in January, while exports rose to $19.37 billion.
Under an economic program unveiled in 2021, Turkey aims to shift to a current account surplus through stronger exports and low interest rates, despite soaring inflation and a currency that has tumbled in recent years.
Turkey’s central bank last Thursday dropped its key interest rate by half a percentage point to 8.5 percent, saying the cheaper borrowing cost would bolster earthquake recovery efforts even as inflation remains high.
Turkey was already battling runaway inflation and relying on wealthy allies to keep its economy afloat when massive earthquakes on Feb. 6 killed more than 45,000 people, razed entire cities and left millions needing urgent help.
A prominent business group has estimated there was some $84 billion in quake damage, but estimates from other experts are more conservative, putting the total closer to $10 billion.