The visible trade deficit fell by almost two thirds in 1994 to $5,164 million, as imports fell and exports increased. The improved trade figures are expected to contribute a healthy surplus for the year, and will be welcomed by the IMF, analysts say.

Imports fell by 21 per cent to $23,270 million, and exports rose by 18 per cent to reach $18,106 million. Sales of industrial products increased most, by 20.7 per cent, to $15,364 million. Exports to EU countries rose by 13.5 per cent to $8,269 million, but imports from the EU fell by 20.6 per cent to $10,279 million.

Year-end current account figures, including invisible transactions, are due out soon. They are now expected to confirm a trend during the first 11 months towards a surplus of around $3,000 million, analysts say. The improving current account picture will work in Turkey’s favour in its negotiations with the IMF, which is expected soon to approve an extension of the programme attached to its $742 million standby facility approved in July 1994.