Turkish economic growth to slow to 4.6% in 2018 – agency

Turkey’s economic growth will probably slow this year, according to a survey of 17 economists by the country’s state-run Anadolu agency.

Growth is likely to decline to 4.6 percent in 2018 from 7.3 percent last year, below a government target of 5 percent, the survey showed. Estimates for the economic expansion varied between 4 percent and 5.5 percent.

Turkey is due to publish fourth-quarter economic growth data on March 29. Estimates for quarterly growth, on an annual basis, varied between 4.5 percent and 9.5 percent, Anadolu said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government is seeking to stimulate the economy ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections, due by November next year. Changes to the election law passed by parliament earlier this month have raised speculation that the election will be brought forward to later in 2018.

The economy grew 11.1 percent on an annual basis in the third quarter of 2017, increasing concern that the economy was overheating on the back of a government stimulus program focused on loan guarantees and tax breaks.

The results of Thursday's survey may increase speculation that the government plans another round of incentives to boost economic growth.