The International competitiveness of the Turkish economy: some stylised facts

- "In the first quarter of 2010, the scale of the recovery in the Turkish economy caused some surprise, with GDP growth of 12% year-on-year, against an average of just 2% for the four countries of Central Europe (Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia) and a further contraction in GDP in Eastern European countries (Bulgaria, Romania). In the second quarter, on the basis of trends in industrial production, the gap between Turkey and Central and Eastern European countries narrowed significantly. However, Turkey, which has emerged swiftly from recession, gives the impression of being an economy that whilst vulnerable to the international environment is more solid than its European neighbours."
- "The budget deficit is likely to be lower than in all Central and Eastern European countries apart from Bulgaria in 2010 and probably again in 2011, with the return to growth and the increase in the exchange rate helping reverse the snowball effect(1). Moreover, although unemployment is still higher than it was before the recession, it has eased since mid-2009 (which is not the case for other Central and Eastern European countries). Lastly, underlying inflation remains under control at below 5%."
- "Thus the Turkish economy displays satisfactory macroeconomic fundamentals. In addition, both the
banking system and businesses withstood the recession well. Lastly, the trade balance remains the economy’s Achilles’ heel, and it could worsen if the 2011 elections led to a relaxation of control over the budget."
- "In fact, in June 2010, the current account deficit was nearly $21bn, cumulatively over the first six months of the year, or nearly three times the Chart in the same period of 2009. As a percentage of GDP and over the full year, it remains modest at around 4% of GDP, compared to 5.6% on average between 2005 and 2008, but not far off the alert threshold, which is generally set at 5% of GDP. Does the Turkish economy suffer from competitiveness problems? The purpose of this article is to identify some of the factors that will help answer this question. In the first section we will examine the usual aggregate indicators: apparent and structural trade balances and price competitiveness indicators. We
complete our analysis by summarising the main trends in the structure of international trade in goods and in the country’s share of export markets (part II) before drawing our conclusions."


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