The U.S.-based credit rating agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) on Wednesday affirmed Turkey's long-term foreign currency sovereign credit rating at B+ and long-term local currency sovereign credit rating at BB-.
The outlook is stable, the agency said in a statement. It also affirmed the country's short-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings at B.
"The COVID-19 pandemic will likely push the Turkish economy into recession and drive the fiscal deficit to widen to around 5% of GDP (gross domestic product). Nevertheless, we forecast that by end-2020, net general government debt will amount to a contained 34% of GDP, leaving fiscal room to maneuver, despite rising contingent liabilities," it said.
"The stable outlook balances the downside economic risks stemming from the coronavirus pandemic over the next 12 months against the resilience of Turkey's private sector, alongside the still-contained stock of net general government debt," it added.
"We expect that, despite currency volatility and COVID-19-related interruptions to economic activity, the Turkish GDP will recover in the second half of this year," said the statement.
The agency said Turkey's economy could contract by 3.1% in real terms in 2020 before recovering by 4.2% in 2021.
"Our medium-term growth forecasts are largely unchanged, with growth at 3.5% in 2022 and 2023," said the agency.
Turkey’s economy grew 6% year-on-year in the fourth quarter and nearly 1% in 2019 as a whole, beating expectations, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat).
The country’s GDP at current prices surged by 14.9% year-on-year in 2019 to over TL 4.28 trillion ($602.35 billion).
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