The 5% growth surprise from nowhere
Allow me to issue a reminder that growth was 4.5 percent in the first quarter of last year and wide-ranging expectations were being predicted. First-quarter growth was foreseen to be between 2 percent and 5 percent. Why was it so difficult to more accurately forecast growth?
Due to the new GDP series, making a forecast is complicated. In plain words, the old GDP amount was calculated based on TurkStat figures. But the new GDP calculation is based on both administrative and Finance Ministry records. All of which means it is difficult to make a GDP forecast based on short-term business statistics and we have certainly seen the result of this complication.
For instance, the industrial production increase for the first quarter in comparison with the same period last year was only 1.8 percent, according to TurkStat data, but the growth of industrial production as a share of GDP amounted to 5.3 percent. How can we explain the difference between these two figures and wouldn’t it be better if we had closed this gap? Dunya asked these questions to TurkStat Deputy Chairman Mehmet Aktaş.
Aktaş noted that the statistical body is working intensively on calculating the short-term business statistics, which include the industrial production figures based on administrative records. He said new short-term business statistics will be based on 2015 figures and that TurkStat is trying hard to complete the new calculations by the beginning of 2018.
The industry sector, with a onefifth share of GDP, was largely responsible for pulling growth up to 5 percent in the first quarter. As mentioned, there was an increase of 5.3 percent in industrial production. Elsewhere, there were respective increases of 3.2 percent and 3.7 percent in the agriculture and construction sectors. Meanwhile, the service sector, including trade, transportation, accommodation and food services, generated an added value increase of 5.2 percent.