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Coronavirus: Turkish economy contracted 9.9% in the 2nd quarter

Although the GDP fell, the recession suffered by the Turkish economy due to the coronavirus is less than expected.

Turkish economy contracted by 9.9% during the second quarter of 2020 due to the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the latest data published this Monday by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK), which is nevertheless better than expected initially by analysts. During the first quarter of the year, Turkey’s GDP had grown by 4.5%.

“We knew that we would feel the effects of the most catastrophic pandemic of the century, which paralysed the economies of the world during the second quarter,” Turkish Minister of Treasury and Finance, Berat Albayrak, declared through his Twitter account after learning the data. He nevertheless stressed that the recession suffered by the Turkish economy is less than expected, and also less in comparison with other neighbouring countries.

“I am confident that we will end the year positively with an economic model that supports its citizens,” added the minister, highlighting the government’s stimulus programs, and describing the bases of the national economy as “robust, dynamic and strong.” Albayrak had previously predicted that in 2020 Turkey’s GDP would range between -2% and 1%.

The figures for the second quarter, despite being bad for Turkey, are better than expected as experts predicted an average drop of around 11 or 12% of Turkish GDP. According to the Turkish press, an estimate of 14 economists for Reuters had projected an average contraction in the 2nd quarter of 11.8%; the average of 17 consultations to economists made by Bloomberg showed a contraction of 10.7%, and another 17 experts consulted by the Anatolia Agency predicted a growth of -11%.

Many countries have in fact suffered falls in their GDP greater than the Turkish economy; Germany‘s economy contracted 10.1% in the second quarter, France fell to 13.8%, Mexico sank 17%, UK 20.4%, and the United States suffered a historic recession with a decrease of 32.9%. The OECD announced last week that on average its 37 member states – including Turkey – suffered a 9.8% recession because of the coronavirus.