September 12, 2019 / 4:01 PM / 9 days ago

UPDATE 1-Turkey's economy will grow in 2019 - Albayrak

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ISTANBUL, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said on Thursday that he believes Turkey’s economy will post positive annual growth in 2019, adding that data may show a record-high rolling current account balance in July.

Turkey’s economy contracted a less-than-expected 1.5% in the second quarter, the third straight quarterly contraction year-on-year as it looks to shake off the effects of recession. A Reuters poll last month pointed to zero growth in 2019.

Turkey’s economy has a track record of more than 5% growth, but inflation and interest rates soared after the Turkish lira lost some 30% of its value last year and domestic demand fell sharply as it tipped into recession.

Speaking at a European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) event in Istanbul, Albayrak said data showed that economic rebalancing was close to the desired level, and that inflation would fall to single digits.

“September indexes clearly show that we will post single digits in both consumer prices and producer prices,” he said, adding that the economy would surpass the government’s targets in 2019.

The government has forecast annual growth at 2.3% in 2019 and 3.5% in 2020.

Albayrak also said current account data for July, which will be released on Friday, may see a record-high surplus. “When we look at the July current account figures that will be released tomorrow, we may see the biggest surplus in current account for the past 12 months,” he said.

Turkey’s 12-month cumulative current account recorded a surplus in June for the first time in nearly 17 years. A Reuters poll on Wednesday pointed to the current account recording a$1.24 billion surplus in July.

Albayrak also said the government would announce its 2020-2022 economic targets in September. (Reporting by Jonathan Spicer, Can Sezer and Ebru Tuncay; Writing by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Dominic Evans)

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