Turkish Economy Rebounds With 11.7 Pct Growth Spurt In Q1

Lizbon Büyükelçiliği 01.07.2010
The Turkish economy expanded at the breakneck speed of 11.7 percent in the first quarter of 2010 over the same period a year ago, suggesting a strong recovery from the severe recession that took a profound toll on the global economy. Market analysts and business circles, however, cautioned that such a pace is unlikely to continue in the coming quarter, even though all of them agree that the economy will continue to grow. The Turkish economy made a strong comeback at the end of 2009, by growing at a higher-than-anticipated rate of 6 percent from a year earlier, after a continuous contraction for four quarters in a row. Even though last year ended with a contraction of 4.7 percent, the performance of the economy was promising as that rate was well below expectations. Turkey started this year with an influx of positive economic data, suggesting that the country had managed to remain afloat amidst the devastating global credit crunch and is about to leave the recession behind.

The Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat) released its quarterly growth rates on Wednesday, revealing that the economy had continued to grow for the second straight quarter. The growth rate was in double digits, in line with market expectations. Accordingly, Turkey’s gross domestic product (GDP) amounted to TL 23.35 billion at constant prices in the first three months of the year, 11.7 percent higher than a year earlier, when the economy contracted by 14.5 percent. At current prices the year-on-year growth in the GDP was 16 percent, reaching a total GDP of TL 243.26 billion.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan signaled that the first quarter growth figures will definitely be high during his speech at the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) parliamentary group meeting yesterday. “Turkey’s growth performance is drawing worldwide attention. This has been confirmed by each and every leader I have talked with. With the growth rates to be announced [Wednesday], we will hopefully be breaking a new record.”

However, even though the growth surge in GDP was the largest in six years, it failed to break the record, albeit by only a tiny margin, and remained behind the growth rate seen in the second quarter of 2004, 11.9 percent.

With this phenomenal growth rate, Turkey came in second among the G-20 economies, after China, which posted a growth rate of 11.9 percent. During this period the European Union economy expanded by only 0.3 percent, with Germany and France expanding by 1.5 and 1.2 percent, respectively, while the UK suffered a contraction of 0.3 percent.

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