Turkish Exports Falter as Lira Boost Dented by Global Worries

(Bloomberg) -- Turkish exports grew at the slowest pace in four months in December, a sign that concerns over slowing global growth threaten efforts to improve the country’s trade imbalance.

Exports rose 0.4 percent from a year ago, according to preliminary Trade Ministry data that are usually consistent with official figures, due Jan. 31. Goods shipped to some of Turkey’s biggest export destinations led the slowdown. Exports to Germany and Italy fell while those to the U.K. moderated, amid worries over the impact of trade wars and Brexit.

The lira’s depreciation last year boosted exports to key trading partners in Europe and, along with a domestic economic slowdown after an outsized rate hike in September, helped the economy tame a widening current-account gap.

The December trade data suggest the focus may now shift to curbing imports and taming consumption, according to Inan Demir, an economist at Nomura Plc in London.

“It appears in a slowing global growth environment, the continuation of rebalancing will have to rely even more on domestic demand contraction,” said Demir, who expects a current-account deficit of around $1.3 billion in December.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.