Turkey's trade deficit widened by 89.1 percent to $26.7 billion (€29.3 billion) last year, the state statistics institute announced on Tuesday, February 27.
Imports increased by 32.7 percent from the figure for 1999 to $53.98 billion and exports rose by 2.8 percent to $27.32 billion, it said.
Small depreciation of the Turkish lira under a pegged foreign exchange rate, which was abandoned last Thursday, and the falling value of the euro against the dollar, were major negative factors for trade by Turkey, which sells about 50 percent of its exports to EU countries.
Turkey's decision to allow the lira to float, and the subsequent depreciation of the lira, will contribute to an increase in exports, while forcing up inflation and placing additional burdens on Turkey's budget, experts say. — (AFP, Ankara)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )