ANKARA: Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek said he expected inflation to decline to below 7 percent next year. In an interview with private NTV television on Thursday, he also voiced his satisfaction with July’s single digit inflation rate. “It is pleasing that inflation has fallen to a single digit,” Simsek, who is responsible for Turkey’s economy, said. His comments came after the country’s annual inflation rate dropped to 9.79 percent in July — its lowest level in six months, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) said Thursday. Consumer prices fell by 1.1 point, down from 10.9 percent in June, according to TurkStat. “I believe that inflation will be single digit at the end of the year, and next year it will fall to a more reasonable path, below 7 percent,” Simsek added.
The deputy prime minister noted that the central bank’s year-end inflation forecast of the Central Bank stood at 8.7 percent, “I hope that the year-end inflation will stay under 9 percent,” he said. Simsek also said Turkey’s average growth rate had stood at 6.7 percent during the post-global financial crisis. He said it was rare for a country to experience such strong growth in the world, after China and India. “This shows that our economic foundations are solid,” he said. “I believe that we can take the Turkish economy on a growth path of over 5 percent again with the reforms by increasing our resistance to shocks and answering investors’ questions further,” he added. Turkey’s economy grew 5 percent in the first quarter of 2017 when compared to the same period last year, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute on June 12.