Turkish exports have produced a number of records this year and are even expected to surpass the government's goal of $155 billion. According to the Turkish Exporters Assembly's (TİM) figures, Turkey's exports from January to November 2017 reached $142.7 billion, marking a 10.7 percent hike over the same period last year. As for next year, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci highlighted that the government's target of $169 billion will easily be exceeded.
"Next year, Turkish exports will break new records. Our government aims to secure more than 6 percent growth and exceed $170 billion in exports," the minister explained.
Therefore, the minister said, international institutions will not set their early year targets at 2.5 percent and then revise them up to 7 percent as they already estimate a 5 percent growth for the Turkish econmy next year.
Recalling that the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank (WB) and European Union (EU) all estimated that the Turkish economy would grow 2.5 percent this year, Minister Zeybekci underscored that the ministry and the government set a 5.5 percent growth target in the Medium Term Programme, which is it in fact surpassed.
The minister highlighted that 1.5 percent of the 7.4 percent gross domestic product (GDP) expansion in the first three quarters of the year came from exports, while 2.5 percent consisted of investments and production. The strong share of exports and investments in the growth is very promising and pleasing for the Turkish economy, he said.
With regard to the fourth quarter, the minister highlighted that indicators, such as capacity utilization rate, exports and industrial production index, demonstrate that a strong and higher-than-expected growth rate awaits Turkey in this period.
Turkey's consumer price index was released at 12.98 percent in November. The double-digit inflation figure has been looming over the economy for most of the past year, yet the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) and the economy administration have taken steps to curb inflation, particularly on food products. As a result of these initiatives and programs, the double-digit inflation rate will decrease to single-digit in 2018.
The economy minister also mentioned that the committee for the food market regularly convenes and holds meetings to finalize a study to mitigate the prices.
"We have devised a system that will prevent the loss of produce during transportation from the field to the consumer and constituted a scheme of incentives and supports. The new incentive program may provide 50 percent of the investment amount. Once this system is implemented, the fluctuations and inflation in food pricing will be gone," Zeybekci explained.
Economy Minister Zeybekci said the expectation for inflation to fall below single-digits in the first three months of 2018 is high, and the aim of the economy administration to sustain the drop.