Today’s Zaman - According to the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat), Turkey's gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 8.2 percent in the July-September period, marking the eighth quarter in a row in which the country's economy has grown. The third quarter growth rate was way beyond the market expectation of 6.3 percent.
“That much expansion made us the second-fastest growing economy worldwide, after China, in the third quarter. We expect our economy to grow no less than 4 percent next year,” said the Industry, Science and Technology Minister Nihat Ergün, speaking on a program broadcast by a private TV station shortly after the announcement was made.
With this latest announcement, the country's economic growth rate for the first three quarters of this year was ascertained at 9.6 percent. The minister also said all outside observers may have to revise their economic growth forecasts for Turkey for 2012 as the country's GDP continues to exhibit a speedy growth performance, with most experts downplaying the possibility of a hard landing.
A number of experts have also given their take on the Turkish economy’s performance based on the latest official figures related to economic growth and balance of payments. For Gökhan Uskuay, director of Strategies at Global Securities in İstanbul, the third quarter economic growth eased worries surrounding the health of the Turkish economy next year. “This is very positive as it can reduce the worries over economic growth in 2012,” he told the Anatolia news agency.
Also speaking to Anatolia, EFG İstanbul Securities Chief Economist Haluk Bürümcekçi said the third quarter economic growth indicated that Turkey’s economy will grow beyond expectations this year. “What was different in the third quarter was that we had a foreign trade surplus this time, whereas the overseas demand always used to be decreasing the economic growth in Turkey as it produced a foreign trade deficit. This is important because it means the domestic demand has dropped more than the overseas demand. This is something [the Turkish government and central bank] aimed to achieve. There is a slight slowdown in both consumption and investments. These drops will be more visible in the last quarter, but Turkey will end this year with a strong growth,” he said.
Having a similar prediction was economist Gülay Elif Girgin from OYAK Investment. Also speaking to Anatolia, she said they had to revise their economic growth forecast for Turkey from 7 to 8 percent for this year based on the latest available data.