Turkish industrial output leaps

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkish industrial output surged 11.7 percent year-on-year in June, well above predictions, official data showed yesterday. The jump has eased fears for the possible impact on economic growth of a recent rally in the Turkish lira, a worry for the country’s exporters. «I think it’s all about confidence. I think it’s a positive surprise, and we continue to be surprised positively by industrial output data in Turkey,» said Reinhard Cluse, economist at UBS Warburg in London. Praising the acceleration of economic reform, the International Monetary Fund last week approved the latest $500 million loan tranche to Turkey under a $16 billion pact. Output in manufacturing rose 12.8 percent, while output in utilities rose 8.2 percent. Maintaining a recent spike in exports, an important driver of economic growth in Turkey, could prove key to meeting the IMF-backed growth target. Output data for the third quarter of 2003 will likely show whether the lira’s strength against the dollar during the first half of the year is impacting export growth in Turkey.