Turkish Economy Minister Kemal Dervis announced inflation would be higher than expected and there would be negative growth in 2001, as he presented a program aimed at ending Turkey's economic crisis.
Speaking at a press conference in Ankara, Dervis said annual inflation in 2001 would rise to 52.5 percent, against a forecast of 12 percent before Turkey's economic crisis flared in February. The increase in wholesale prices was expected to reach 57.6 percent.
However he said the increase in retail prices should be brought down to 20 percent and for wholesale prices to 16 percent in 2002. “Growth is now at about -4 percent, but with the help of exports and tourism, it's possible that we'll have positive growth in July and August," Dervis said. Growth in 2000 was six percent. He predicted negative growth of -3.0 percent in 2001.
On February 22, Ankara abandoned an inflation-fighting economic plan it had refined with the International Monetary Fund after an unprecedented dispute between the president and prime minister about corruption measures sent the markets into a spin.
The economic crisis has sparked demonstrations, some of them violent, in recent weeks and several were being held as Dervis announced his new program. —(AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)