Turkish economy shrinks by 8.3 percent in first nine months of 2001
The Turkish economy contracted by 8.3 percent in the first nine months of 2001 from the equivalent figure last year following two severe crisis in November last year and February this year, the state statistics institute said Friday, November 30.
In the third quarter alone, gross national product fell by 8.5 percent compared to the same period last year, the institute said. In the first half of 2001, the economy had shrunk by 8.5 percent. Crisis in the banking sector forced the government in February to abandon a pegged exchange regime, causing the lira to tumble against the dollar. Since then, the Turkish currency has lost more than half of its value against the dollar and interest rates have soared, dragging the economy into a recession.
To put the battered economy on track, the government has begun implementing a tough program of reforms, which received multi-billion-dollar support from the IMF and the World Bank on condition that the reforms are strictly implemented. Turkey expects the economy to shrink by 7.5 to 8.0 percent this year and then to achieve four-percent growth in 2002.
In December, Turkey is expected to begin negotiations with the IMF for a new stand-by deal in return for fresh loans to close a financial gap of $10 billion (11.36 billion euros) amid a global economic recession after the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States. — (AFP, Ankara)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)