Albayrak sees targets within reach

Albayrak sees targets within reach

Albayrak sees targets within reach

Leading indicators suggest that the government’s 5 percent economic growth target set for 2020 and the inflation target for 2019 could be met, Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak has said, referring to data released earlier this week.

The minister noted that some circles had initially predicted a contraction for 2019 but international institutions had to revise their forecasts upwards in the face of the economy’s strong performance.

The Turkish Statistics Institute (TÜİK) reported on Dec. 2 that the economy grew by 0.9 percent in the third quarter of 2019 from the same period of last year, after contracting 1.6 percent in the second quarter.

The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) declined by 2.8 percent and 2.3 percent in the final quarter of 2018 and the first three months of 2019 on an annual basis, respectively.

He noted that business demand conditions were supportive of the growth and the industry sector also contributed to the expansion of the economy in the third quarter.

“The economy went through testing times and came under attacks that we managed to repel. Now it is time to unleash the country’s potential and carry this potential even further,” Albayrak said in a speech he delivered at the chamber of commerce and industry in the eastern province of Erzurum.

“If we can succeed in transforming the economy in a way which is based on technology and exports as well as producing value added, we will be able to release Turkey’s potential in an uninterrupted fashion.”

In the New Economic Program, released in September this year, the government forecast that the economy would grow by 0.5 percent in 2019.

The government’s growth target is 5 percent for 2020, 2021 and 2022.

Albayrak also said the consumer inflation target is within reach.

The minister noted that the annual inflation rate ticked up to 10.55 percent in November due to base effect as expected.

“However, inflation is still at a level that ensures we can easily meet the 12 percent target for 2019. We are moving towards such an environment.”

Albayrak underlined that the annual inflation declined as much as 11 points in November compared to the same month of 2018.

“Both inflation and interest rates are falling. Interest rates are much lower than where they were three or five years ago. Pressures on consumer and producer prices are easing,” he said.

The government’s inflation targets for next year and 2021 are 8.5 percent and 6 percent, respectively.