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    Significant deviations in inflation targeting
    Fatih Özatay, PhD 02 August 2010
    Turkey's experience with the inflation targeting regime initiated in January 2006 goes as follows: First, there is a significant difference between realizations and targets. Second, we are still far from 5 percent inflation rate, which is hardly a reasonable target. Third, estimates in the inflation reports published four times a year are revised to a large extent. Fourth, there also is a significant difference between the estimates and realizations. So today I would like to comment on the 'estimate-revision-deviation' problem. [More]
    Why Turkey’s exports are still in the pit?
    Güven Sak, PhD 29 July 2010
    Please take a look at the figure below? It shows the movements in world trade and Turkey's total exports. What the figure reveals is clear: In terms of exports, the world seems to have come out of the pit whereas Turkey has not. Why is that so and what must be done? If you wonder what this is all about, please read on. [More]
    Are you happy with the TURKSTAT?
    Güven Sak, PhD 27 July 2010
    One who wants to conduct a research on Turkey must definitely be aware of TURKSTAT (Turkish Statistical Institute). If you need data, that is the databank. The TURKSTAT was formerly called State Statistical Institute (SSI). But the European Union (EU) said that it was not state's duty to collect data and that there is need for a separate institution with relative autonomy, the TURKSTAT was established. Back then, the EU accession process was not crippled by the way. It was thought that the problem was resolved as the SSI was replaced with the TURKSTAT. The statistical institute was never a beloved one, neither as the SSI nor as the TURKSTAT. I currently am not contented with the TURKSTAT nowadays. They continuously change the definition of the data; assumptions change or coefficients are m [More]
    Investments recover reluctantly
    Fatih Özatay, PhD 26 July 2010
    We all know that investments contract significantly in crisis periods. Consumption decreases less then investments do. The reason is obvious: a large proportion of consumption expenditures constitute of basic expenditures. These are impossible to forego; so a shift to lower-quality products are observed. During the recovery from crises, the movements in investment expenditures generally do not match with the pace of recovery. The main reason might be the desire of investors to make sure that the recovery will be permanent. [More]
    Single tool, three goals
    Fatih Özatay, PhD 25 July 2010
    It can be argued that the stability program supported with the structural reforms initiated right after the 2001 crisis outdated around 2007, though it is hard to provide a concrete date. It was then the time to introduce a program which will increase the labor demand, advance the skills of the labor force, expand the tax base, improve the investment climate, boost the access of small firms to finance, tackle informality in order to prevent unfair competition, and transfer funds for the efforts to this end. Such reforms were discussed in detail in this column under the heading 'micro reforms'. [More]
    One stone, many birds
    Fatih Özatay, PhD 22 July 2010
    With a couple of commentaries I opened to discussion what can be done in the context of the monetary policy against the appreciation of the lira. A number of are commentaries on this issue are featured also in many daily newspapers. As you might remember, one of my recommendations was to change the inflation targeting regime after inflation rate is reduced to 5-6 percent. This change was to be made by establishing a framework which considers real exchange rate as well as the difference between the inflation rate and the targeted inflation rate and between the level of production and potential level of production. [More]
    Can a country without an immigration policy be a regional power?
    Güven Sak, PhD 22 July 2010
    Recently, the Chairman of the Higher Education Council (HEC) said: "We have established many new universities; so we are in need of instructors. Now we are looking ways to facilitate bringing instructors from abroad. What is more, we will also allow them to work in jobs outside the university." I do not know what you think, but found this statement surprisingly sound and wise. I was surprise because I am not used to hear such wise things from the HEC. But I believe that this time HEC Chairman initiated a quite beneficial discussion. Let us see why. If you want to take a walk at the undiscovered roads, please join me down the article. The first tour begins. [More]
    What happens to agricultural employment?
    Fatih Özatay, PhD 19 July 2010
    I really do not know much about the agricultural sector and I do not generally assess data on the agricultural sector. Nonetheless, today I want to write some comments on the value added created in the agricultural sector and employment.  Let's see. [More]
    Important developments of the week
    Fatih Özatay, PhD 18 July 2010
    Considering the important events of the last week for the economy, two issues come to fore though not much exciting: The postponement of the negotiations in the National Assembly on the bill of law on the fiscal rule and the intensification of the signals that US economy as well as the EU will recover slower than expected. Moreover, data an important indicator was announced: Unemployment data for April. The essence of my comments on bill of law on fiscal rule was that 'it is an important step with certain important missing points'. And these missing points were about the transparency of budget accounts and about the 'on time' audits. I also talked about two notes, one by Emin Dedeoğlu and the other by Ümit Özlale which talked about how the fiscal rule should be ideally. These can be access [More]
    Finally, Turkey enjoys net foreign fund inflows
    Fatih Özatay, PhD 15 July 2010
    Today is again the day to comment on the recently announced data. A couple of days ago balance of payments data for May was announced. As we have been underlining, the global crisis affected Turkey most severely via two channels. First was that corporate and banking sectors encountered difficulties in accessing new loans from abroad. As a result of this, net fund transfers abroad took place. Second, exports were severely affected by global economic slowdown. [More]