Turkey’s economy grew faster than expected in the first quarter as the government boosted expenditures and households kept on spending. The lira gained after the report. Gross domestic product expanded 5 percent in the January through March period from a year earlier, higher than all estimates in a Bloomberg survey. Seasonally adjusted output rose 1.4 percent from the previous three months, Turkey’s state statistics institute said in a statement on its website Monday. The government boosted spending on everything from wages to investments to spur the economy after a failed military coup hurt growth last year. The report showed that expansive fiscal policies also boosted household consumption, which makes up about two-thirds of the economy and has traditionally driven Turkey’s growth.
Finance Minister Naci Agbal said household consumption will continue to support the economy due to temporary tax breaks. The strong growth data shows the economy’s resilience, Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli said on Twitter. “The resilience of the financial structure was tested by shocks,” he said. “The central bank is pursuing independent policies that also take into account economic growth.” Exports of goods and services rose 10.6 percent in the first three months of the year, the most on an annual basis since the same period in 2014, according to official data. Imports grew 0.8 percent during the first quarter.
Image Credit: AA/ İzzet Mazi
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