Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli has said he expects Turkey to grow more than 4 percent this year, after 3 percent last year, while the inflation rate will close the year at around 7.5 percent.
“I am still hopeful about growth. Turkey’s 2016 growth rate will probably be announced at 3 percent. The data for the first quarter of 2017 will be much better. We have seen a strong recovery and we expect growth of nearly 3.5 percent in the first three months of this year,” Canikli said, as quoted by Reuters.
Turkey’s 2016 growth figure will be announced in late March, according to the official statistics calendar.
The government’s Medium-Term Economic Program forecasts 3.2 percent GDP growth in 2016 and 4.4 percent in 2017.
“Growth will come in at over 4 percent in 2017. One of the main indicators showing this is employment data,” said Canikli, claiming that more than 300,000 new jobs were created after a country-wide employment stimulation campaign was started in early February.
The campaign aims to create a total of 2 million new jobs.
Canikli also noted that the steep fluctuations in dollar-lira parity have raised the inflation rate by 15 percent, but the worst is over for the markets.
“I believe we will emerge from double-digit inflation rates by July. The rate will likely fall to 7.5 percent by year-end,” he added.
Turkey’s annual inflation rate soared to 10.13 percent in February, seeing double digits for the first time in five years.
Turkey’s inflation target for 2017 is at around 8 percent.
Canikli also noted that Turkey’s newly founded sovereign wealth fund was in partnership talks with several funds mainly from Gulf countries and the United States, while also attracting strong interest from the Far East.
A number of the largest state-run companies were transferred to the fund in February.
The deputy prime minister also stated that uncertainties in Turkey’s foreign ties have been easing in recent months, stimulating foreign trade.
“There is a huge area we can move forward in Syria and Iran. Our trade ties with Russia
will also fully recover soon ... Risks in the Iranian market have also declined. Our exports to the EU will also increase as soon as the Customs Union deal is updated,” Canikli added.