Turkey's nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rate for the first quarter is expected to be announced today by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat), while most economists agree on a 4.5 percent growth rate for the first quarter and a 3.6 percent annual growth rate.
While the June Global Economic Outlook report from the World Bank optimistically evaluated the performance of the Turkish economy for the first half of the year, considering the data on industrial production, export and retail sales, 19 economists participating in the Growth Expectation Poll conducted by Anadolu Agency (AA) agreed on a 4.4 percent quarterly growth rate and a 3.5-percent yearly growth, in line with the optimistic approach of the World Bank that forecasts the same growth rate for Turkey this year. The forecasts for the first quarter from the economists in AA's poll ranged between 3.7 percent and 5.3 percent, while their forecasts for 2016 fluctuated between 3 percent and 4 percent.
These numbers are similar to those of 20 economists participating in a Reuters poll, whose result suggested that growth expectations varied between 3.7 percent and 5.3 percent for the first quarter and between 3 percent and 4 percent for the end of the year.
Evaluating the performance of the Turkish economy for the rest of the year, economists underlined that political risks, a slowdown in capital inflows due to interest rate hikes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's (Fed) and the continuation of the rise in oil prices, all can pose risks to Turkey's economic growth in 2016.
According to the government's Medium-Term Program (MTP), growth expectations for 2016 stood at 4.5 percent for the period between 2016 and 2018, because of a fall in political uncertainties, the rise in private sector investments, the invigoration of domestic demand through income policies and an increase in foreign demand.
Last year, growth in the Turkish economy stood at 2.5 percent in the first quarter, and 3.7 percent in the second quarter. Although growth weakened before the Nov. 1 elections, it was actualized at 3.9 percent in the third quarter through strong domestic demand and a move by manufacturers toward stockpiling. It grew by 4 percent throughout 2016. Thanks to the support of export-based sectors, industrial production, which is one of the most important leading indicators of growth, roughly increased by 4.7 percent in March and 5.6 percent in the first quarter, signaling that growth will remain strong.