Economic Outlook , 20.6.2017

Economic Outlook

The Turkish economy has shown remarkable performance with its steady growth the past 14 years.

A sound macroeconomic strategy in combination with prudent fiscal policies and major structural reforms in effect since 2002 has integrated the Turkish economy into the globalized world, while transforming the country into one of the major recipients of FDI in its region.

The structural reforms, hastened by Turkey’s EU accession process, have paved the way for comprehensive changes in a number of areas. The main objectives of these efforts were to increase the role of the private sector in the Turkish economy, to enhance the efficiency and resiliency of the financial sector, and to place the social security system on a more solid foundation. As these reforms have strengthened the macroeconomic fundamentals of the country, the economy grew with an average annual real GDP growth rate of 5.6 percent from 2003 to 2016.







Moreover, Turkey’s impressive economic performance over the past 14 years has encouraged experts and international institutions to make confident projections about Turkey’s economic future. For example, according to the OECD, Turkey is expected to be one of the fastest growing economies of the OECD members during 2015-2025, with an annual average growth rate of 4.9 percent.

Together with stable economic growth, Turkey has also reined in its public finances; the EU-defined general government nominal debt stock fell to 28.3 percent in 2016 from 72.1 percent in 2002.


Hence, Turkey has been meeting the “60 percent EU Maastricht criteria” for public debt stock since 2004. Similarly, during 2003-2016 the budget deficit decreased from more than 10 percent to less than 2 percent, which is one of the EU Maastricht criteria for the budget balance.



As the GDP levels increased to USD 857 billion in 2016, up from USD 236 billion in 2002, GDP per capita soared to USD 10,807, up from USD 3,581 in the given period.

The visible improvements in the Turkish economy have also boosted foreign trade, while exports reached 143 billion by the end of 2016, up from USD 36 billion in 2002. Similarly, tourism revenues, which were around USD 12.4 billion in 2002, exceeded USD 22 billion in 2016.

Significant improvements in such a short period of time have registered Turkey on the world economic scale as an exceptional emerging economy, the 17th largest economy in the world and the 6th largest economy when compared with the EU countries, according to GDP figures in 2016.

Institutionalized economy fueled by USD 180 billion of FDI in the past 14 years

17th largest economy in the world and 6th largest economy compared with EU countries in 2016 (GDP, IMF)

Robust economic growth with an average annual real GDP growth of 5.6 percent during 2003-2016


GDP of USD 857 billion in 2016, up from USD 236 billion in 2002

Sound economic policies with a prudent fiscal discipline

Strong financial structure resilient to the global financial crisis


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