Turkish growth will top 5 pct

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey’s economic growth will probably top 5 percent in 2004 after last year’s «impressive» rise, while the current account deficit is not a concern at present, top IMF official Anne Krueger said yesterday. Turkey’s gross national product grew by 5.9 percent in 2003 and it has set a target of 5.0 percent for this year as it recovers from a 2001 financial crisis, helped by a $19 billion IMF loan accord. Turkey’s current account deficit widened sharply to $783 million in January and unsettled markets, but Krueger told a conference in Istanbul there was no immediate cause for concern. «The growth performance last year was impressive. This year growth will probably be above 5 percent,» said Krueger, first deputy managing director of the IMF. The economy shrank by some 10 percent in 2001. The Fund plans to hold its eighth review of the loan program in early June, Krueger added. The IMF has said it is up to Turkey to decide whether it wants a follow-up program.

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