IMF, Turkey in new talks

ANKARA (Reuters) – A senior International Monetary Fund official said yesterday talks with Turkey in the coming weeks would focus on meeting budget targets and keeping inflation down in the coming year. Odd Per Brekk, the IMF’s representative in Turkey, which is implementing a $16-billion loan program after last year’s crisis, said in a statement that talks would start in Washington this week and an IMF team would come to Turkey on October 2 for the latest review of the program. The review is linked to a loan payment of around $1.5 billion. «The discussions will cover how the public sector primary surplus target of 6.5 percent of GNP (gross national product) can be achieved both this year and next, and how monetary policy can best promote further disinflation in 2003,» Brekk said. Turkey is to hold a general election on November 3. «The evident support of the thrust of the program among political parties and in the private sector bodes well for the prospects of Turkey achieving sustained growth with low inflation,» Brekk said. He said a sharp pickup in activity in the year’s first half suggested growth was likely to outperform this year’s GNP target of 3 percent after a 9.4-percent contraction last year. «(Consumer price) inflation is fully on course to meet the end-year 35-percent target,» he added.

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