Q1 data indicates Turkey shaking off global recession
Turkey enjoyed an influx of positive economic data in the first half of the year, suggesting that the economy is on track to full recovery from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. After managing to remain afloat amid a devastating global credit crunch, the economy registered striking 11.7 percent growth in the first quarter of the year compared to a year ago, with gross domestic product (GDP) reaching TL 243 billion. Observers expect this positive trend to continue in the following quarters, while also forecasting the year-end growth rate to exceed 6 percent. In the first quarter of 2009, the economy shrank 14.5 percent quarter on quarter, with GDP declining to TL 210 billion. But the country managed to end 2009 with a better-than-expected contraction rate at 4.7 percent. The GDP for all of last year totaled 954 billion. Figures for the first six months appear positive. Annual inflation, for instance, experienced a greater-than-expected drop in July, with consumer prices hikes falling to 7.58 percent and producer prices hikes at 8.24 percent. Last year these figures were much lower at 6.53 percent and 5.93 percent, respectively. In related news, these positive indicators also got the attention of international organizations, which boosted their forecasts for Turkey's economic performance. The International Monetary Fund revised its predictions upwards in May, forecasting that the Turkish economy would continue to grow at a rate of around 6.25 percent this year. This was followed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which predicted that Turkey's economic growth would reach 6.8 percent in 2010. Lastly, the World Bank joined these organizations by announcing it had revised its growth estimate for Turkey this year over 2009 to 6.3 percent, a 3 percent increase from its growth prediction of 3.3 percent at the beginning of the year.