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    The figures are clear enough (3)

    Fatih Özatay, PhD08 March 2014 - Okunma Sayısı: 1906

    This artificial and overstated growth performance is frequently quoted for political propaganda.

    Today I would make a comparison with Turkey and a group of selected countries on the basis of unemployment rate and GDP growth. The group is the same as the one I used in the CPI comparison last week during the first piece of the series. At the same time, these are the countries which a Federal Reserve (FED) report submitted to the US Congress studied to identify which will be hit the hardest by its current monetary policy. That comparison did not cover unemployment and per capita GDP growth. I took the figures for the 2012-2013 period to see how Turkey compares. The first column ranks the countries from the lowest unemployment rate to the highest, and the second column from the highest to the lowest GDP growth rate. The per capita GDP figures are with constant $US prices by purchasing power parity. Otherwise, you might end up with awkward rates. For instance, Turkey’s per capita GDP grew by 1.4 times (40 percent) from 2002 to 2012 in real terms. With current prices and no consideration of purchasing power parity, however, per capita GDP grew by 3 times (200 percent) over the same period. This artificial and overstated growth performance is frequently quoted for political propaganda. I have to say that I don’t buy it: real growth is 40 percent compared to the promoted 200 percent.

    Before assessing the figures, I have to warn that unemployment rates for some countries do not seem credible. For instance, that for Thailand is remarkably low. Yet, they give an impression. Turkey has the third lowest unemployment rate among the group. The picture is not as promising when it comes to GDP per capita figures, however: Turkey had the second lowest growth rate in 2012 and the fourth lowest in 2013.

    I will not comment on the figures any further, in line with the headline’s statement. I just would like to remind the fact that the figures are not up-to-dated. Given Turkey’s digression from democracy lately, the outlook will most likely be even worse if the current trends prevail.



    This commentary was published in Radikal daily on 08.03.2014