The foreign trade gap widened to $8.24 billion last month from $4.67 billion in February, the Trade Ministry said on Monday citing preliminary data.
Imports rose by an annual 31 percent to $30.9 billion, outpacing a 19.8 percent increase in imports to $22.7 billion.
Turkey’s government is basing its economic programme on achieving trade and current account surpluses to help boost economic growth and stabilise the lira, which slumped by 44 percent against the dollar last year. The country must finance any trade deficit with foreign capital inflows such as tourism revenues and investment or risk further losses for the lira.
The foreign trade deficit in the first quarter of the year more than doubled to $26.4 billion from $11.1 billion, the ministry said. Imports grew by an annual 42.1 percent to $86.7 billion, increasing more than twice as quickly as imports, which gained 20.8 percent to $60.3 billion.