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Business Last Updated: Mar 18, 2019 - 1:01:18 PM

Turkey: Worrying Rise in Short-term Debt, Unemployment Rate
By Saeed Abdelrazek, Asharq Al Awsat, 16 March, 2019
Mar 17, 2019 - 10:20:43 AM

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Turkey's short-term external debt stock reached USD118 billion at the end of January, the Turkish Central Bank said on Friday.

The figure was up 1.5 percent compared to the end of last year when the debt was some USD116.3 billion, the bank said in a statement.

The unemployment rate also sparked to its highest levels in nine years, at a time when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has pledged to restore economic growth after local elections on March 31.

Nearly half the country's short-term external debt stock was in dollars -- 48.9 percent -- followed by 29.6 percent in euros, 16.1 percent in Turkish liras, and 5.4 percent in other currencies.

"In this period, banks’ short-term external debt stock increased by 1.4 percent to USD57.7 billion and other sectors’ short-term external debt stock increased by 1.7 percent to USD54.4 billion," the Central Bank said.

The short-term debt of the public sector -- mainly composed of public banks -- rose 8.7 percent from the end of 2018 to hit USD24.4 billion in January.

The private sector's short-term foreign debt fell by 0.3 percent to USD87.6 billion during the same period.

In another context, the unemployment rate in Turkey stood at 13.5 percent in December 2018, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) announced Friday.

The number of unemployed people rose to 4.3 million between November and December, the highest rate in nine years.

The Turkish government launched in February a program to revive labor force, targeting the recruitment of around 2.5 million individuals.

The Turkish economy shrank three percent in the final quarter of 2018, the worst performance in 10 years and a clear sign that the Turkish lira crisis pushed the economy to recession.

The economy grew by 2.6 percent in 2018, compared to 7.4 percent in 2017.

Source:Ocnus.net 2019

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