UPDATES WITH REMARKS FROM FINANCE MINISTER; ADDS DETAILS
By Tuba Sahin and Aysu Bicer
ANKARA (AA) – Turkey’s treasury and finance minister on Monday announced the new economic program of the country for the three-year period starting from 2020.
The inflation rate should be lowered below 5% for a strong Turkey ideal, Berat Albayrak said during his presentation of the new program in the capital Ankara.
"We revised our inflation forecast for 2019 with 12%, down from 15% in our previous target," Albayrak said.
The country's inflation targets are set as 8.5% next year, 6% in 2021 and 4.9% in 2022, he added.
"Under these targets, priority will continue to be given to the coordination of money and fiscal policies," Albayrak said, adding that the government will keep to back the Central Bank in its efforts against inflation.
He also said the structural transformation steps increasing competitiveness and efficiency in the goods and services markets will be taken.
The new program will be maintained under the theme of “Transformation begins,” announced the finance minister.
Turkey’s year-end economic growth is expected to be 0.5% in 2019, according to Albayrak.
Stressing the government's will to get rid of middle income trap, Albayrak said Turkey aims a healthy and sustainable growth, rather than higher growth rates.
"The new program targets 5% annual growth rate for next three years each," he said.
Albayrak said the growth will also generate around one million new jobs per year during the 2020-2022 period to reduce unemployment rate gradually.
Developments in the construction sector and improving the borrowing conditions will make a positive contribution to employment in the short term, he added.
"After closing 2019 with an unemployment rate of 12.9%, we aim to reduce the figure to 11.8% next year, 10.6% in 2021 and 9.8% in 2022," he said.
On the fiscal discipline side, the minister noted that a 2.9% budget deficit-to-GDP rate is targeted for the next two years while 2.6% is set for 2022.
"Current account balance will continue to be one of the main issues on the political agenda," Albayrak said, expressing that this year will end with current surplus.
*Muhammed Ali Gurtas contributed to this story