Turkey growth slack­ens to 2.9% in 2014, wor­ry­ing gov’t ahead of gen­eral elec­tion

The China Post - - BUSINESS INDEX & -

Turkey’s eco­nomic growth weak­ened last year to 2.9 per­cent, well down on 2013 and cre­at­ing wor­ries for the Is­lamic-rooted gov­ern­ment ahead of June leg­isla­tive elec­tions, of­fi­cial data showed on Tues­day.

Gross do­mes­tic prod­uct in­creased by 2.9 per­cent in 2014 from the year ear­lier, well be­hind the gov­ern­ment’s of­fi­cial tar­get of 3.3 per­cent, the Turk­ish Statis­tics In­sti­tute (TUIK) said on its web­site.

The econ­omy grew by 2.6 per­cent year-on-year in the fourth quar­ter of 2014, ac­cord­ing to TUIK, com­pared to 1.7 per­cent in the third quar­ter, 2.2 per­cent in the sec­ond quar­ter and 4.8 per­cent in the first quar­ter.

The gov­ern­ment is eye­ing a growth spurt ahead of the June 7 leg­isla­tive elec­tions, with Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan pres­sur­ing the nom­i­nally in­de­pen­dent cen­tral bank for ag­gres­sive rate cuts.

The eco­nomic per­for­mance of Turkey — which has lagged re­cently af­ter post­ing stel­lar growth rates in the first half decade of Er­do­gan’s dom­i­na­tion — is un­der the spot­light this year as it holds the pres­i­dency of the G20 top world economies.

The gov­ern­ment’s of­fi­cial 2014 growth tar­get in the medium term eco­nomic pro­gram was set at 4.0 per­cent but later trimmed to 3.3 per­cent.

But Fi­nance Min­is­ter Mehmet Sim­sek wrote on Twit­ter that the econ­omy was per­form­ing well in a dif­fi­cult ex­ter­nal en­vi­ron­ment.

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