Tackling external and domestic macroeconomic imbalances
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Effective macroeconomic and structural policies helped Turkey bounce back quickly and strongly from the global crisis, with annual growth averaging close to 9% over 2010-11. However, the current account deficit widened to around 10% of GDP in 2011 and consumer price inflation rose to over 10%. The external deficit, which is far too large for comfort, is a source of vulnerability. So is double-digit inflation, even if it partly reflects transient factors. These imbalances signal competitiveness problems and a dearth of domestic saving. They need to be addressed using both macroeconomic and structural policy levers. Monetary policy has recently tried to reduce the volatility of capital flows but inflation has been high and volatile. The inflation target needs to be given greater prominence. The fiscal stance remains broadly appropriate but could be tighter, if warranted, to complement monetary restraint and help keep the real exchange rate on a sustainable path. More balanced growth through strengthened competitiveness and greater private saving calls inter alia for increased labour force participation, accelerated formalisation, stronger productivity growth, improvements in financial literacy and a more attractive menu of saving instruments. Improvements in the business environment would spur foreign direct investment, making for healthier funding of the external gap.