October 30, 2018 / 9:13 PM / 16 days ago

Turkish economy normalizing after 'attacks' from abroad: Finance Minister/CNN Turk

FILE PHOTO: Turkish Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak is pictured before an interview with Reuters in Istanbul, Turkey September 2, 2018. REUTERS/Osman Orsal

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey’s economy began to normalize in October and markets are likely to be reassured about its prospects next year, Finance Minister Berat Albayrak was quoted as saying by broadcaster CNN Turk on Tuesday.

The lira TRYTOM=D3 slumped in August and at one stage was down 47 percent since the start of the year on investor concerns over the Turkish central bank's independence and a deterioration in U.S.-Turkish ties.

The currency has since recovered some of those steep losses with a mammoth 6.25 percentage point rate hike in September and an improvement in relations with the United States.

Albayrak, in remarks quoted by CNN Turk, blamed the lira’s tumble on what he called “economic attacks planned in a foreign country”, singling out in particular Aug. 10 when the currency’s volatility peaked. He did not elaborate on this point.

He added, “There is no problem Turkey cannot overcome. The Turkish economy has started its normalization process as of October (and) 2019 will be a year that will reassure markets...”

Some economists say Turkey faces economic trouble down the road. Inflation hit a 15-year-high last month while industrial output grew at its slowest pace in almost two years in August, recent data showed, reinforcing concerns about a sharp slowdown.

A month ago the government cut its growth forecast and raised its inflation outlook in a new three-year economic program, which investors said was more realistic than previous estimates.

(This story corrects spelling of minister’s name)

Writing by Ezgi Erkoyun; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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