Following a temporary setback in 2018, the Turkish economy rebounded quickly in 2019 thanks to timely measures taken. The country will channel this positive momentum as it continues the transformation process in 2020.
The recent improvements in the Turkish economy have bolstered consumer confidence. The Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) announced that confidence in the Turkish economy rose on a monthly basis to hit a 21-month high in January. The economic confidence index rose 0.6 percent compared with the previous month – to 97.1 in January 2020 from 96.5 points in December 2019. Construction, services, and retail trade helped fuel the rise in the economic confidence index. The construction confidence index was the best performer in the month, surging 14.6 percent.
TurkStat also announced that Turkey's foreign trade deficit in 2019 dropped 43.5 percent to stand at USD 31.17 billion, down from USD 55.12 billion in 2018. During 2019, Turkey’s exports rose 2.1 percent to reach USD 171.5 billion, while imports fell 9.1 percent to USD 202.7 billion. The export/import coverage ratio reached 84.6 percent in 2019, up from 75.3 percent in 2018.
On the other hand, the first Inflation report in 2020 has been released by the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT). CBRT’s inflation forecasts were kept unchanged in the report at 8.2 percent for end-2020 and at 5.4 percent for end-2021. CBRT Governor Murat Uysal said, ‘’The progress in easing the US-China trade dispute, reduced Brexit uncertainty, and pro-growth global monetary policies improved the expectations about global economic activity. Country-specific fragilities will remain a downside risk to the growth outlook for emerging markets, but advanced economies are expected to see a modest pickup in growth over the upcoming period.’’
Commenting on Turkey’s benchmark bond yield, Minister of Treasury and Finance Berat Albayrak said that Turkey saw single digits in its two-year benchmark bond yield – 9.96 percent – for the first time since November 2016. “This is yet another reflection in Turkey's indicators of confidence in the country's economic policies. We will further this improvement in market expectations and make it permanent," said Albayrak.
Another TurkStat statement shows that Turkish tourism revenues hit USD 34.5 billion in 2019, a new record high. The figure jumped 17 percent last year, up from USD 29.5 billion in 2018. Also, 51.9 million tourists visited the country last year, a rise of 13.7 percent year-on-year. The average expenditure per capita stood at USD 666 in 2019, up from USD 647 in 2018.