Simsek Says AKP Win Will Boost Turkish Economy as 2013 GDP Grew

Turkey’s Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek said the ruling party’s election victory yesterday will support economic growth this year after gross domestic product expanded more than forecast in 2013.

The economy grew 4.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013 from a year earlier, accelerating from a revised 4.3 percent in the previous three months, the statistics office in Ankara said on its website. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 12 economists was 4.1 percent. Household consumption fueled growth, expanding by 5.3 percent, up from a revised 4.7 percent in the third quarter.

The data was released one day after the ruling AK Party declared victory in the country’s municipal elections even as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government faces corruption allegations. The political turmoil has prompted economists to cut their forecasts for this year’s growth to 2.25 percent, according to estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

“Reduced political risks with municipal election results will support domestic demand and 2014 growth outlook,” Simsek said in an e-mailed statement.

The Turkish economy has picked up after posting the slowest growth since the 2009 recession in 2012 and expanding by 4 percent last year, according to Turkstat. Domestic consumption, the main driver of growth in 2013, helped to expand the current account deficit to $65 billion, cited by the government as the economy’s biggest vulnerability.

The lira strengthened 1.2 percent to 2.1661 per dollar at 10:20 a.m., trimming the year’s losses to 0.8 percent.

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