ISTANBUL (Reuters) – The Turkish economy grew more than expected in the third quarter, data showed yesterday, fueled by strong consumer demand which put it on course to exceed its 2005 official target of 5.0 percent growth. Gross national product (GNP) expanded 7.3 percent in the third quarter, the Turkey Statistics Institute said, compared with economists’ forecasts of 5.2 percent expansion. It said gross domestic product (GDP) grew 7.0 percent in the third quarter, compared with an average prediction of 5.2 percent. Previously announced data showed GNP grew 3.4 percent in the second quarter while GDP was up 4.2 percent. CAIB/Bank Austria analyst Simon Quijano-Evans said the bank was raising its 2005 growth forecast to 6.0 percent from 5.5 percent. The third-quarter figures showed that private final consumption expenditures rose 11.2 percent year on year, up from 4.4 percent in the second quarter. Capital formation jumped 37.8 percent after 17.9 percent growth in the previous quarter. Exports of goods and services rose just 2.7 percent in the third quarter, down from 4.7 percent in the previous quarter. Imports of goods and services grew 11.9 percent, up from 9.2 percent in the second quarter. Last year, GNP expanded 9.9 percent.