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Tuesday, October 16, 2018, 

Turkey slashes growth goals, warns of high inflation

Turkey slashes growth goals, warns of high inflation

Istanbul, 20 September 2018 (MIA) - Turkey slashed its growth projections and ramped up inflation predictions on Thursday, winning praise for a more realistic approach towards its embattled economy but disappointing those urging tough reforms, AFP reports. 

The medium-term forecasts were unveiled by Finance Minister Berat Albayrak -- the son-in-law of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan -- just over a month after a crash in the value of the lira brought Turkey to the brink of economic crisis.

Albayrak indicated that Turkey needed to tighten its belt after several years of high growth, which peaked at 7.4 percent in 2017, saying the next period needed to be based on the three principles of "balancing, discipline and change".

He projected the economy would expand by just 3.8 percent in 2018 and then an even slower 2.3 percent next year.

Inflation, meanwhile, would balloon to 20.8 percent at the end of this year, dropping only slightly to 15.9 percent in 2019.

The forecasts were more optimistic for 2020 and 2021, with growth expected at 3.5 percent and 5.0 percent respectively, while inflation was predicted to dip to a single digit 9.8 percent in 2020 then 6.0 percent the following year.

By coincidence, the projections were published on the same day as the OECD's new interim economic outlook, which struck an even more pessimistic note by predicting Turkey's growth at 3.2 percent this year and only 0.5 percent in 2019.

It cautioned that "downside risks to growth remain if confidence in economic policy is not restored, or if domestic financial stability tensions increase as the result of higher debt service burdens". lk/20:06

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