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ISTANBUL: Turkey’s current account is expected to record a deficit of $2.85 billion in April and end the year with a deficit of $40.15 billion, a Reuters poll showed on Tuesday, as soaring energy prices widen the shortfall.

The trade deficit, a major component of the current account balance, surged 98.5% in April to $6.11 billion, as Turkey’s monthly energy imports stood at $7.78 billion in the same period.

In a Reuters poll of 12 economists, the median estimate for the current account deficit in April was $2.85 billion, with forecasts ranging between $2.4 billion and $5.1 billion.

The deficit was seen at $40.15 billion for 2022 as a whole, with the range of forecasts between $30 billion and $47 billion. Economists have been revising up their forecasts for the 2022 deficit due to surging energy prices.

The median forecast was $29 billion three months ago.

The deficit stood at $7.1 billion in January, the highest since Dec. 2017, and was $5.55 billion in March.

Under President Tayyip Erdogan’s economic plan, which prioritizes growth, exports, employment with low interest rates, the central bank has cut its policy rate by 500 basis points since September, triggering a currency crisis that saw the lira lose 44% against the dollar last year.

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Annual inflation has in turn surged, reaching 73.5% in May.

The government says Turkey’s chronic current account deficit, which stood at $14.9 billion last year, will turn to a surplus under the plan.

Turkey’s central bank is scheduled to announce the April current account data at 0700 GMT on June 13.

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