Turkey’s economic growth trend continues, finance minister says
ANKARA - Reuters
Turkey is continuing its strong economic growth trend and the foundations of its economy are strong, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son-in-law new Finance Minister Berat Albayrak was quoted as saying by state media on July 22.
Concerns about the Central Bank’s independence intensified after Erdoğan appointed Albayrak as treasury and finance minister, boosting expectations that the president—a self-described “enemy of interest rates”—will look to exercise greater influence over monetary policy.
The Turkish Lira has been hammered this year, losing a fifth of its value against the United States dollar, on concerns about the Central Bank’s ability to rein in double-digit inflation, while Erdoğan has repeatedly called for lower interest rates.
Albayrak, who is in Argentina for a G-20 meeting, was quoted by state-run Anadolu Agency as saying the government’s recent policies were aimed at maintaining prudent fiscal policies, seeing healthy credit growth, carrying out structural reforms, and strengthening Turkey’s monetary policy framework.
With Erdoğan having merged the Treasury and the Finance Ministry following the June 24 snap presidential and parliamentary elections, Albayrak’s appointment effectively saw him replace both Mehmet Simşek and Naci Ağbal in a cabinet that now has no obvious investor-friendly ministers.
Albayrak’s comments, therefore, are closely watched by investors for clues on whether he will seek to calm financial markets by adopting a more orthodox approach to monetary policy or reiterate Erdoğan’s views that high interest rates stoke inflation.
On the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires, Albayrak said on Twitter that he had met with his U.S., Chinese, German, Brazilian, South Korean, French, and Indonesian counterparts.