By Tuba Sahin
ANKARA (AA) - Turkey's economy grew by 4.5% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2020, the country's statistical authority announced Friday.
According to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat), gross domestic product (GDP) at current prices amounted to 1.07 trillion Turkish liras ($176.1 billion) in the January-March period.
"Seasonally and calendar adjusted GDP increased by 0.6% compared with the previous quarter," the institute said.
The figure showed that the Turkish economy was less affected by the coronavirus compared with other big economies while it came at worse than analysts’ expectations.
A group of 16 economists surveyed by Anadolu Agency on Wednesday had projected the Turkish economy to expand by 5.2% in the first quarter of this year.
Economists' forecasts hovered between 4.4% -- the lowest estimate -- and 5.8%.
The economists also predicted that Turkey's annual GDP in 2020 would narrow 1.5% on average.
The country's GDP expanded by 6% in the last quarter of 2019, 0.9% in the third quarter after contracting 2.3% in the first quarter and 1.6% in the second on an annual basis.
Turkey's economic growth rate was 0.9% in 2019 and 7.4% in 2018.
Before the onset of the coronavirus crises, the economy was expected to grow by 5% in 2020 as laid out in the country's new economic program announced in September.