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Turkey Economy 1999

    Economy—overview: Turkey has a dynamic economy that is a complex mix of modern industry and commerce along with traditional village agriculture and crafts. It has a strong and rapidly growing private sector, yet the state still plays a major role in basic industry, banking, transport, and communication. Its most important industry—and largest exporter—is textiles and clothing, which is almost entirely in private hands. The economic situation in recent years has been marked by rapid growth coupled with partial success in implementing structural reform measures. Inflation declined to 70% in 1998, down from 99% in 1997, but the public sector fiscal deficit probably remained near 10% of GDP—due in large part to interest payments which accounted for 42% of central government spending in 1998. The government enacted a new tax law and speeded up privatization in 1998 but made no progress on badly needed social security reform. Ankara is trying to increase trade with other countries in the region yet most of Turkey's trade is still with OECD countries. Despite the implementation in January 1996 of a customs union with the EU, foreign direct investment in the country remains low—about $1 billion annually—perhaps because potential investors are concerned about still-high inflation and the unsettled political situation. Economic growth will remain about the same in 1999; inflation should decline further.

    GDP: purchasing power parity—$425.4 billion (1998 est.)

    GDP—real growth rate: 2.8% (1998 est.)

    GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$6,600 (1998 est.)

    GDP—composition by sector:
    agriculture: 14.4%
    industry: 28.7%
    services: 56.9% (1998)

    Population below poverty line: NA%

    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%

    Inflation rate (consumer prices): 70% (1998)

    Labor force: 22.7 million (April 1998)
    note: about 1.5 million Turks work abroad (1994)

    Labor force—by occupation: agriculture 42.5%, services 34.5%, industry 23% (1996)

    Unemployment rate: 10% (1998 est.)

    revenues: $44.4 billion
    expenditures: $58.5 billion, including capital expenditures of $3.7 billion (1998)

    Industries: textiles, food processing, autos, mining (coal, chromite, copper, boron), steel, petroleum, construction, lumber, paper

    Industrial production growth rate: 4.1% (1998 est.)

    Electricity—production: 103 billion kWh (1997)

    Electricity—production by source:
    fossil fuel: 62.4%
    hydro: 37.1%
    nuclear: 0%
    other: 0.5% (1997)

    Electricity—consumption: 91.16 billion kWh (1996)

    Electricity—exports: 300 million kWh (1996)

    Electricity—imports: 265 million kWh (1996)

    Agriculture—products: tobacco, cotton, grain, olives, sugar beets, pulse, citrus; livestock

    Exports: $31 billion (f.o.b., 1998)

    Exports—commodities: textiles and apparel 30%, foodstuffs 15%, iron and steel products 13% (1997)

    Exports—partners: Germany 20%, US 9%, Russia 5%, UK 6%, Italy 6% (1998)

    Imports: $47 billion (f.o.b., 1998)

    Imports—commodities: machinery and equipment 50%, fuels, minerals, foodstuffs (1997)

    Imports—partners: Germany 16%, Italy 9%, US 9%, Russia 6%, UK 6%, France 2% (1997)

    Debt—external: $93.4 billion (1998)

    Economic aid—recipient: ODA, $195 million (1993)

    Currency: Turkish lira (TL)

    Exchange rates: Turkish liras (TL) per US$1—331,400 (January 1999), 260,724 (1998), 151,865 (1997), 81,405 (1996), 45,845.1 (1995), 29,608.7 (1994)

    Fiscal year: calendar year

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    Revised 1-Mar-99
    Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)