We started the day with increasing number of COVID-19 cases in most of the provinces but no change in our daily lives. Because no new decision has come out from yesterday’s cabinet meeting. The existing implementation in provinces related to the COVID-19 measures will continue for a while and developments will be closely monitored, said President Erdogan. Erdogan also announced that the duration of the short time working allowance will end by the end of this month. The opposition criticizes the government of not having enough sources to finance the economic consequences of extreme measures, like full closures.
Does Turkey not have enough money? Let’s take a look at the reserves… The central government’s budget balance recorded a TRY 23.2bn surplus in February, according to the Ministry of Treasury and Finance. Prior to this, central government’s budget balance has posted a deficit in the last two months. Accordingly, the budget has recently recovered from a deficit of TRY 24.2bn in January. In the meantime, the country’s budget revenues increased by 3% to TRY 96.4bn in February, compared to the same month of the previous year.
On the other hand, the Central Bank’s net international reserves dropped by USD 2.35bn to USD 11.57bn in the week ending March 5, compared to the previous week. The bank’s gross foreign exchange (FX) reserves dropped by USD 1.24bn to USD 53.2bn. The bank’s gross FX reserved reached USD 54.4bn on February 26. The bank’s gold reserves also declined by USD 2.3bn to USD 38.41bn, from USD 40.7bn. Thus, the bank’s total reserves decreased by USD 3.5bn to USD 91.6bn from USD 95.2bn compared the previous week.
Meanwhile TRY follows a steady course against USD and EUR in the second day of the week. Fluctuated between 7.50-7.60 yesterday, USD/TRY appreciates between 7.53-7.54 today. Having a similar course, EUR/TRY is traded at just below 9.00. Gold prices recovered prior to the interest decision to be announced tomorrow in the U.S. Spot gold prices reached USD 1,728. On the other hand, evaluations that the suspension of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines in 21 countries of Europe will pave the way for the vaccination program to be postponed for 1 month, have affected adversely oil prices. Brent crude dropped to USD 68 with the impact of expectations towards increase of oil stocks in the U.S.
The number of employees increased by 5.2% in January, compared to the same month of the previous year, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat).
Private sector’s long-term loans received from abroad dropped by USD 18m to USD 164.1bn, while short-term loans decreased by USD 49m to USD 9.8bn in January, compared to December 2020, according to the Central Bank.
The Central Bank will also release the Residential Property Price Index (RPPI) for January. RPPI monthly increased by 1.7% and annually rose by 30.3% in January (2.30 pm).
The Ministry of Treasury and Finance will reopen the 2-year (602 days) maturity, semiannually fixed coupon bond, while it will also reopen the 5-year (1,659 days) maturity, semiannually fixed coupon bond.