Turkey GDP (Q2 2021)

A strong rebound from May’s three-week lockdown meant that Turkey’s economy managed to expand by 0.9% q/q over Q2 as a whole and the early signs are that it carried this momentum into Q3. Robust growth and high inflation mean the central bank will hold off cutting rates until late this year.
Jason Tuvey Senior Emerging Markets Economist
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Emerging Europe Economics Weekly

Omicron & tightening cycles, Turkey into the unknown

While a lot is still unknown about the Omicron variant, we don’t think it will prevent central banks from delivering further large interest rate hikes - Poland will be a case in point next week, where we expect a 75bp rate hike. The key exception is Turkey, where the departure of Finance Minister Elvan this week adds to signs that policymakers are not prepared to respond to the recent falls in the lira with an orthodox approach. The currency will remain under pressure and this week’s interventions in the FX market suggest policymakers’ tolerance of a weak lira is being tested. These interventions cannot be sustained and soft capital control may be the next port of call.

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Turkey & the macro fallout from past “sudden stops”

The history books show that currency crises in other parts of the emerging world in recent decades have resulted in peak-to-trough falls in GDP of around 8% on average and pushed headline inflation up by 25%-pts from its latest trough. The latest crisis in Turkey is likely to result in a downturn that sits towards the milder end of the spectrum and, so long as the lira stabilises, the peak in inflation is likely to be in the region of 25-30% y/y in the next few months.

3 December 2021

Emerging Europe Data Response

Turkey Consumer Prices (Nov.)

The rise in Turkey’s headline inflation rate to 21.3% y/y in November will almost certainly be followed by further chunky increases over the coming months that take it to 25-30% as the effects of the recent currency crises continue to filter through. With no sign that President Erdogan will permit an orthodox policy response in the form of large interest rate hikes, the lira will struggle to recoup its losses and inflation will remain at these very high levels throughout much of the next six-to-nine months.

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Egypt’s COVID outbreak, Tunisia’s president tightens grip

Fears are growing that Egypt is on the cusp of a fresh wave of COVID-19 driven by the Delta variant, but past experience suggests that restrictions will remain light touch and there is growing hope that the vaccine rollout will speed up in the coming months. Elsewhere, Tunisia’s President Kais Saied appears to be tightening his grip on power and leading the country back towards autocracy. As well as the risk that this pushes Tunisia closer to a debt restructuring, the fresh erosion of the country’s institutions will weigh on long-term economic prospects.

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The past month has seen a growing divergence in COVID-19 outbreaks across the region, with cases still very low in Central Europe but surging in Israel and Turkey. Either way, it appears that restrictions will remain light touch and economic recoveries should stay on track. But studies showing that vaccine efficacy fades over time mean that booster shots look set to become the norm.

23 August 2021

Middle East Economics Weekly

Gulf and oil prices, Egypt remittances, PIF’s Call of Duty

The latest drop back in oil prices is unlikely to be of much concern to policymakers in the Gulf and we still think that there is a window of opportunity for fiscal policy to be loosened. Elsewhere, remittances into Egypt have held up well during the pandemic but this is unlikely to be enough to prevent falls in the pound. Finally, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) raised its stake in a major US video game producer this week although foreign acquisitions may become rarer as the PIF heeds the call to support domestic projects.

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