Arab Today, arab today turkish growth surprises with 11 in first quarter
Last Updated : GMT 18:22:15
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Turkish growth surprises with 11% in first quarter

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Turkish growth surprises with 11% in first quarter

Ankara - AFP

Turkey\'s economy grew by 11.0 percent in the first quarter of 2011 from output in the same period last year, outstripping expectations, official data showed on Thursday. The figure placed Turkey in the lead of the G-20 group of world powers and emerging economies, followed by Argentina, which posted first-quarter growth of 9.9 percent. Market watchers however remained cautious, stressing that domestic consumption shouldered the robust increase in gross domestic product (GDP) and further widened the current account deficit. In seasonally adjusted terms, GDP grew by 1.4 percent from the previous quarter, the Turkish Statistics Institute (TUIK) said. The retail sector made the greatest progress with an expansion of 17.2 percent year-on-year, with construction and manufacturing also among the main driving forces of the growing economy. The annual growth rate will be no less than seven percent, foreign trade minister Zafer Caglayan said on the NTV news channel, while market watchers put their estimate at 6.2 percent. In a spectacular recovery from the global crisis, Turkey\'s economy grew 9.2 percent in the last quarter of 2010, and 8.9 percent throughout the previous year. The growth however has triggered an expansion in the current account deficit as imports rose and Turkey\'s exports to Europe slowed down, with \"hot money\" or capital in short-term speculative accounts playing a significant part in financing the gap. Analysts have warned that an external shock under such conditions could abruptly halt the inflow of foreign capital and wreck havoc in the economy. Also Thursday, TUIK announced that Turkey\'s trade deficit was $10 billion dollars (6.9 billion euros) in May, far beyond expectations. \"This is the largest monthly trade deficit in series and brought 12-month rolling trade deficit to 92.3 billion dollars from 87.2 billion in April,\" Finansbank said in a research note. Cevdet Cagdas Unal, a Finansbank economist, stressed that, \"resident consumption increased by 12.1 percent (year-on-year) and made the highest contribution to headline growth rate with 8.7 percentage points.\" The growth rate is expected to remain positive but lose pace \"on the back of global slowdown and volatility in the financial markets,\" the TEB bank said in a research note. \"May trade data shows that Turkey has to slow down its growth visibly to bring its current account deficit under control. The current policy mix has failed so far,\" it said. In a bid to discourage \"hot money,\" Turkey\'s central bank has cut interest rates significantly, while at the same time raising reserve ratios for banks in a bid to curb the growth of consumer loans. TEB called for a revision of the government\'s economic policy, highlighting also a political turmoil in the wake of the June 12 elections, marked by an opposition boycott of parliament this week. \"The Turkish Lira remains vulnerable to shifts in global risk sentiment. The authorities need to recourse to orthodox policies to convince market players that the current account deficit problem is being addressed,\" it said. Only 10 years ago, Turkey underwent two financial crises, and was rescued under a loan and restructuring programme overseen by the International Monetary Fund. 

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