Turkey to target four-percent growth in 2002
Turkey said on Thursday October 11 that its growth target next year would be around four percent, a one-percent cut from the government's prior estimation. "It is estimated that economic growth will be around four percent," an official statement said.
The forecast was made at a meeting of the Higher Planning Board, Turkey's top economic body, which said that it had outlined targets for next year "taking into account the recent developments in world circumstances."
Turkey worries that the economic fallout of the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States could worsen already serious financial turmoil, which the country is battling with IMF support. The board had said last month that it expected the economy to grow by five percent in 2002.
Thursday's statement said inflation targets for next year were set at 35 percent for consumer and 31 percent for wholesale prices. Economy Minister Kemal Dervis said earlier this month that the economy was likely to contract by 7.5 to eight percent this year, with the attacks in the US having a short-term impact of between 0.5 and one percent of gross domestic product in 2002.
The economy has already shrunk by 8.5 percent in the first half of 2001 following severe financial crises in February and November 2000. Meanwhile, inflation stood at 61.8 percent for consumer prices and 74.7 percent for wholesale prices on a 12-month basis in September.
Following talks with international donors in Washington last week, Dervis expressed hope that Ankara would receive additional international aid to resist the economic fallout of global tensions. And the Turkish representative of the World Bank, Ajay Chhibber, said earlier Thursday that the organization was considering more financial aid for Ankara. Turkey, the only Muslim country in NATO, is seen as a key US ally in the global fight against terrorism. — (AFP, Ankara)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)