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    First half of the year is OK; what about the second half?

    Fatih Özatay, PhD16 September 2010 - Okunma Sayısı: 1050

    Two important figures were recently announced: GDP in the second quarter of the year and unemployment rate for June. Let me start with emphasizing two favorable developments with respect to the GDP.

    First, GDP net of seasonal and calendar effect increased by 3.7% quarter-on-quarter. This is a significant increase. Second, this impressive quarter-on-quarter growth rate enabled GDP to surpass the pre-crisis level, which was achieved in the first quarter of 2008.

    I mentioned in previous commentaries that comparing GDP movements net of seasonal and calendar effect during the 2001 crisis with that during the global crisis derives interesting results. Graph 1 shows this comparison. '0' in the horizontal axis shows the peak GDP levels before the crisis and figures denoted together with a plus sign shows the number of quarters since the peak level of the GDP. The trough of the global crisis is a bit deeper. On the other hand we can conclude that GDP movements are similar in the case of both crises. Movements following the trough in particular almost coincide.

    It took nine years to achieve the peak before the crisis in both 2001 and 2008 crises. We should also talk about an adverse development with respect to GDP: Despite a 5.6% of quarter-on-quarter rise, level of private investments is still 15.5% lower than the peak in the last quarter of 2007. Slow recovery of investments in the aftermaths of crises is not an unexpected development. After all, existing capacity was underutilized; it takes quite a time for capacity utilization to trigger new investments.

    Unemployment rate in June dropped by 2.5% year-on-year to 10.5%. The change in the rate net of seasonal and calendar effect, which recovered limitedly by 0.2 percent month-on-month to 11.7 percent, is more important. Graph 2 shows the changes in the said rates since early 2007. Unemployment rate still varies quite above the pre-crisis ratio, 10%.

    We should underline that the movements in GDP and unemployment rate will be less favorable in the future. It is likely that in the third quarter GDP net of seasonal and calendar effects will not rise compared to the second quarter. Similarly, unemployment rate will also remain constant. I talked about the reasons for this before; I can mention those again soon.


    Graph 1: GDP net of seasonal and calendar effects in 2001 crisis and global crisis (index, '0' represents 2000-Q4 for the 2001 crisis and 2008-Q1 for the global crisis)


    Graph 2: Unemployment rate net of seasonal and calendar effects: January 2007 - June 2010 (%)



    This commentary was published in Radikal daily on 16.09.2010.