The end of the year is often a time of conducting situation review for people. They revise their hopes and expectations for the new year, while reviewing the last year. In this article and the next couple of articles, I would also like to make a general assessment of the previous period concerning economy and discuss the economic conditions lying ahead in the forthcoming period.
Let us begin with the economic growth. I must accept that AKP (Justice and Development Party) is very successful on one issue. It is a master on creating perception and managing this created perception. The perception that the government has created on economic performance is as follows: “Economy has grown considerably and we have broken growth records. After the Japanese and Korean miracles, now we have the Turkish miracle.”
On the other hand, the truth is this: Even if we accept that the growth targets anticipated in the medium term program are realized for the next three years, Turkish economy will have grown by 5 percent in the period from 2013 to 2015. The average economic growth since the republic was founded has been 5 percent as well. In other words, Turkey has just grown up as far as historical averages during the period AKP has been in power. That’s all.
Secondly, Turkey does not have a distinctive success story throughout the above mentioned period compared to the other developing countries. For example, while Turkey grew by 6,9 percent in the period before the global crisis from 2003 to 2007, other developing countries grew by 7,6 percent. The situation got worse in the post crisis period; Turkey grew by just 3,2 percent in the period from 2008 to 2012 when the other developing countries grew by 5,5 percent. Expectations for the next three years are not very bright as well; whereas the government forecasts an economic growth of 4,7 percent for the next three years, other developing countries’ forecast is around 6 percent. Briefly, it does not seem possible to talk about a “Turkish miracle” when we make a comparison with the other developing countries.
Moreover, the next three years will be fairly tough concerning economic growth. It is almost certain now that the economic growth target for 2012 will not be achieved. The target set as 4 percent by the government has been revised down to 3,2 percent. In the first nine months of the year, the actual growth was about 2.6 percent. This figure shows that economic growth of 2012 will remain under 3 percent. Current level of domestic demand, international economic conditions and the conjuncture created will also be limiting economic growth in Turkey in the forthcoming period.
As a result, a period of growth below the historical averages awaits for Turkey. This means that ever deepening pervasive social problems including unemployment lie ahead. Even though it is not possible to originate a “Turkish Miracle” out of this retrogressive situation, it is possible to attain a social democratic government.
CHP İstanbul deputy Müslim Sarı