News ID: 262602
Published: 0925 GMT December 07, 2019

Time to unleash Turkey's economic potential, finance minister says

Time to unleash Turkey's economic potential, finance minister says
Turkey’s Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak (anews.com.tr)

After multiple tryouts over the last year, it is now time to take Turkey's economic potential much further, said Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak.

"If we can establish an economic change and transformation process based on value-added, technology and exports, we will have set in motion Turkey's potential in a way that it will not be interrupted again," Albayrak said at a meeting with businesspeople in the eastern province of Erzurum, dailysabah.com reported.

After three consecutive quarters of contraction that followed turmoil and high volatility in exchange rates as of the second half of last year that pushed up inflation and interest rates while domestic demand tumbled, the Turkish economy has entered a promising era of growth in the third quarter of this year.

The economy grew 0.9 percent year-on-year between July and September of this year, Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) data showed.

In the first two quarters, the economy contracted 2.3 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively, on an annual basis. In 2018, the economy posted an annual growth rate of 2.8 percent, narrowing in the last quarter.

"In addition to the positive growth we achieved on a quarterly basis, we have also switched to positive growth on an annual basis," Albayrak said, elaborating on the data.

Compared to the second quarter, gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by a seasonally and calendar-adjusted 0.4 percent, its third positive quarter-on-quarter in a row, TurkStat data showed.

The third-quarter growth was driven by the agricultural sector, which expanded 3.8 percent, while industry grew 1.6 percent and services grew 0.6 percent. However, the construction sector, which underpinned years of strong economic growth in Turkey, shrank 7.8 percent, the data said.

Albayrak stressed that the contribution of the domestic demand, which had been negative for the last four quarters, to growth returned to positive in the third quarter of this year and made a positive contribution of 1.1 percent.

Also, the contribution of the industry sector, which had been negative for the last three quarters, turned positive in the third quarter of this year and achieved a positive acceleration of 0.3 percent, the minister noted.

"The preliminary indicators show that the recovery trend in economic activity has been progressing further. Seasonally adjusted indexes, capacity utilization show that in the fourth quarter we will achieve the five percent growth target, which we also set for 2020," Albayrak stressed.

The government forecasts a 0.5 percent growth for this year. Also, the country's new economic program (NEP) for 2020-2022, unveiled on Sept. 30, targets a five percent annual growth rate for each of the next three years.

On the other hand, inflation, which had become a pressing issue for the Turkish economy over the last year, dropped significantly throughout the course of this year after topping 25 percent in September last year amid high fluctuations in exchange rates.

   
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