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