Political instability and government policies have led to a slump in export sales, while imports are booming, the semi-official Union of Exporters (TIM) says. The economy is heading for a record trade deficit for 1996, claims the union’s chairman Okan Oguz.

The union claims eXports fell by 12 per cent in June to $1,705 million. Its figures are the only reliable guide to export performance in 1996. The State Institute of Statistics (SIS) has not been able to produce any data for 1996 to date, due to problems in adapting to a new reporting regime aligned to EU practice within an EU customs union agreement which started on 1 January.

According to unofficial figures, the first quarter trade deficit jumped by 86.3 per cent to about $4,100 million compared with January-March 1995. Imports rose by 38 per cent to $9,500 million, but exports rose much more slowly to $5,400 million over the period.

The current account was in deficit by $1,600 million in the first quarter, compared with a surplus of $430 million in the same period of 1995, unofficial figures from the semi-offictal Anatoha news agency say