Turkish economy grows 5% in first quarter

Turkey’s economy grew a stronger than expected 5.0 percent in the first quarter of 2017, official data showed on Monday.

The official data published by the Turkish Statistics Institute (TUIK) showed that the main driver of the strong first quarter was exports of goods and services, increasing by 10.6 percent.

The Turkish economy grew 4.5 percent in the first quarter of 2016 but only 2.9 percent overall in 2016. The growth rate in the last quarter of 2016 stood at 3.5 percent.

The robust data surprised market analysts whose consensus forecast had been for 3.8 percent and indicated the economy is managing to turn the corner following a slump in the wake of a failed coup last July.

The lira has lost over 20 percent against the dollar over the last year, although it has rallied slightly in recent months. Imports however increased only 0.8 percent.

The strong data will be boost for the government under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who in April narrowly won a referendum on boosting his powers with the economy a key issue.

Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek welcomed the latest figures, expressing hope the country was on the path back to consistently strong growth.

Turkey enjoyed stellar growth rates in the early years of Erdogan’s rule, peaking at over nine percent in 2004 but growth fell back in recent years with analysts complaining of a dwindling appetite for reform.

Economists said the first-quarter GDP data suggests that Turkey will grow faster this year than expected, requiring a revision of full-year forecasts.

QNB Finansbank said their full year forecast was being nudged up one percentage point to 4.3 percent.

Source : AFP

 

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