Caglayan estimates GDP growth at 4 percent
Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan has predicted that his country's year-end GDP growth rate would stand at 4 percent.
"As we see in our Medium Term Program, we are confident that we will attain a growth rate of 4 percent," Caglayan told reporters in a press conference on economy's performance in the first half of 2012.
Caglayan said economy had grown 9.2 percent and 8.5 percent in 2010 and 2011, respectively, adding that the country had achieved an average of 8.1 percent growth rate for the 10th quarter in a row with a Q1 2012 growth figure of 3.2 percent.
"Turkey's current account deficit continued to drop for the 8th consecutive month. It was down by 30 percent from TRY44.7 billion to TRY31.1 billion. And on monthly basis, the economy had seen the lowest current deficit figure in June in 10 months with TRY4.2 billion," he said.
The Turkish minister said the country's recent unemployment figure was to 8.2 percent, which he said was the lowest figure achieved so far, adding that the economy created nearly 2 million jobs in Q2.
Caglayan predicted that Turkey's exports had increased 13.4 percent in the first half of 2012 to reach $74.4 billion from $65.6 billion in the same period in 2012.
Caglayan said Turkey's exports to markets excluding the European Union had increased 33 percent as exports to the EU had dropped 6.8 percent.
Trade deficit continued to decrease for the 8th consecutive month from $54.2 billion in the first half of 2011 to $42.7 billion in the first half this year, he said, adding that the reduction owed to a hike of $8.9 billion in exports and a drop of $2.6 billion.
Caglayan said ratio of exports to imports rose to 63.5 percent in the first half of 2012 from 54.8 percent in the same period a year earlier.
The economy minister said in the first six months of 2012, foreign direct investments in Turkey was up by 20 percent to reach $8.2 billion from $6.8 billion in the first half of 2011.
Caglayan said FDI flow in Turkey had totalled $117.8 billion since 2003, adding that year-end figure for 2012 was estimated to stand around $20 billion.