Moody’s slashes Turkish growth forecast to 2.5 percent

Moody’s slashes Turkish growth forecast to 2.5 percent

Moody’s slashes Turkish growth forecast to 2.5 percent

Moody’s has slashed its forecasts for Turkey’s economic growth, citing deepening market pressure and growing risks. 

The ratings agency said in its global macroeconomic outlook report on May 30 that its forecast for Turkey’s gross domestic product growth has been dropped to 2.5 percent this year from 4 percent. The agency also decreased the forecast for 2019 to 2 percent from 3.5 percent.

The Turkish economy grew 7.4 percent last year.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s recent remarks on increasing his control over monetary policy after the presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24 “further damaged the credibility of the Turkish Central Bank’s inflation-targeting framework,” Moody’s said.

Erdoğan’s remarks to investors in London earlier this month also “weakened the Central Bank’s independence, another blow to the rule of law,” the report said.

“Turkey’s lira came under greater pressure than other emerging market currencies over the last few weeks, with the delayed policy response from the central bank exacerbating the fall,” it stated.

“A worsening of internal and external imbalances, along with a reliance on short-term funding, has increased susceptibility to rising global interest rates and currency depreciation. Foreign currency exposure of the banking sector as well as corporate sectors present additional financial stability risks,” it added.

The lira has lost 19 percent of its value against the greenback since the start of April.

The Central Bank boosted its lending rate from 13.5 percent to 16.5 percent on May 23 in a bid to defend the lira, which later regained some of its losses.

The lira kept surging this week after The Central Bank announced on May 28 that it had decided to complete a simplification process for the operational framework of its monetary policy.

“The one-week repo rate will be the policy rate of the Central Bank. This rate will be equal to the current funding rate [16.5 percent],” the Bank stated.

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