World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey’s economy is fundamentally sound and constitutional change could help a “rapid” recovery, Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek said Friday.
“There is no serious problem in the fundamentals of the Turkish economy,” he said in an interview with broadcaster NTV. “The economy may recover rapidly with the help of increasing predictability and market trust.”
Simsek who has responsibility for the economy, said economic reforms in the wake of a Yes vote in the April 16 referendum on a presidential system would establish long-term stability.
“Our citizens should evaluate this constitutional change well,” he said. “The presidential system will also provide sustainable economic growth by removing uncertainty and attracting more investment.”
The minister added that indicators showed Turkey can expect moderate growth in the final quarter of 2016. The third quarter showed a 1.8 percent year-on-year contraction in figures released last month.
“Technically, there will probably not be a recession,” he said.
Turning to the lira’s 20 percent fall against the U.S. dollar last year, Simsek said an overnight lending rate hike on Jan. 24 and an inflow of funds to Turkey had had a “positive influence on support of lira against the dollar.”
The lira fell to 3.90 against the dollar in mid-January but stood at 3.66 on Friday morning.
Simsek also highlighted the need to increase employment by up to 800,000 jobs and described the current jobless rate of more than 12 percent -- 3.7 million people -- as a “temporary situation”. Last November, the number of people with jobs rose year-on-year by 391,000.
He also called on Turks to save through an automatic private pension system introduced this year. The fund reached 98 million liras ($26.6 million) on Feb. 12 but around a quarter of participants left the scheme, he said.
“Our citizens should benefit from this system,” he said. “We are talking about significant state support and an additional chance for a second pension.”
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