BY ALAATTIN AKTAS
The situation in foreign trade data for March seems to be not bad. Exports increased by 4.4%, while the increase in imports remained at 4.2% In March, compared to the same month of the previous year, according to preliminary data announced by the Ministry of Trade. However, imports still increased faster than exports in the sum of the three months. The export/import coverage ratio is still around 73%, although March data displays a not-bad outlook. This rate is 64% quarterly. However, the evaluation should be made in a wider time frame, namely annually. The foreign trade deficit reached USD 118bn, and the annual export/import coverage ratio was 68% last year. The annualized trade deficit was around USD 43bn to USD 44bn in September, October, and November 2021, when the interest rate cuts started on September 2021 has not yet affected foreign trade. The deficit has tripled in 1.5 years and reached USD 118bn at the end of March 2023. Moreover, annualized exports have been following a horizontal course for seven months with a slight increase from USD 252.5bn in September 2022 to USD 255.8bn in March 2023. Imports increased much faster in the same period.