Turk Nov c/a deficit widens to $3.152 bln

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey’s current account deficit was $3.152 billion in November, largely in line with a forecast of $3.1 billion, but exceeding a $2.3 billion gap in November 2005, the central bank said yesterday. The widening current account gap in November pushed the deficit for the period between January and November to $29.915 billion. A Reuters poll of 15 banks and investment firms saw the deficit rising to $3.1 billion in November, and reaching $34.8 billion by the end of the year, higher than earlier estimates. Economists had expected the deficit to be boosted by a large trade gap and weaker tourism receipts compared to a year earlier. The trade deficit was above market expectations at $4.22 billion in November. Turkish tourism was hit by an outbreak of bird flu early in the year and a bombing campaign by Kurdish separatists at popular tourism destinations. The gaping current account deficit, one of the largest among emerging markets, is a cause of concern for the fast-growing Turkish economy. The government targeted growth of 5 percent in 2006. The bank revised the October deficit to $2.474 billion from a previously reported $2.48 billion.