Turkey’s economic growth seen over 5 percent by end-2017: Minister

Turkey’s economic growth seen over 5 percent by end-2017: Minister

Turkey’s economic growth is expected to reach close to 6 percent in the second quarter of 2017 and exceed 5 percent by the end of the year, Turkish Science, Industry and Technology Minister Faruk Özlü has told Reuters. 

“We expect growth of over 5 percent this year. There could also be strong growth in the second quarter; first indications lead us to this prediction. I expect close to 6 percent growth in the second quarter,” Özlü said in an interview late on July 6.

Turkey’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate increased by five percent in the first quarter of 2017 compared to figures in the same period last year, data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) showed on June 12. 

The growth forecast for the country was 4 percent. A rebound in domestic demand and exports played a key role in pushing up the economic growth, according to TÜİK.

Özlü said the government aimed for a sustainable growth rather than a temporary one. 

“In a bid to achieve this goal, we will realize structural reforms. Our production reform is one of the steps on the road to reaching this goal. We expect a 1.5 billion lira additional financial source to pour into the industries. Our industry should grow at least 7 percent,” he added. 

He also said current interest rates were too high for the industrial sector to grow, adding that he expected a fall in the unemployment rate in July.

“We will see the positive results of our campaign to boost employment by this month,” Özlü said. 

Turkey’s unemployment rate was announced at 11.7 percent in the February-April period, dipping further from a seven-year high at the start of the year but up from 10.1 percent a year earlier, official data showed on June 15. 

Through an “employment campaign,” which was commenced in February, the government aims at decreasing unemployment rate to single-digit figures. 

Özlü also said the government aimed at creating the first indigenous car prototype by 2019, of which all intellectual property rights would be owned by Turkey.