We all heard a lot about the Turkish economy in 2011 I know I wrote a lot about it and the reports are still coming in now. As always, it takes time to prepare final figures for the entire year, but if the reports we have seen so far are anything to go by then the others will be very exciting indeed, not least because it gives us a very strong base 2012.
We knew by the third quarter of 2011, that Turkey was the fastest growing economy in the world, with the biggest year on year growth in GDP over the first six months of the year. We also know that the budget deficit was a surplus, tourism was growing, and the banking sector was strong. The two biggest problems were the trade and current account deficits.
Throughout 2011, month in month out the Turkish exporters assembly would reveal positive year on year growth, with most months smashing the export value record, which had often only been set one or two months before.
We now know that all this growth led to 2011 being the biggest year ever for Turkish exports, with a total value of goods worth $134.6 billion being exported. As well as a new record this was also 18.2% higher than 2010's figure.
Fuelling the records mainly the car industry, which also had a record breaking 2011. According to data from the Automotive Distributors Foundation 864,439 passenger cars and light commercial vehicles were sold in Turkey last year, representing a growth of roughly 16.4 percent from the year before and setting a new record. The sector’s previous record had been 760,913 vehicles in 2010. The massive export growth can't help but close the trade and current account gaps.
We also know that tourism hit the target of 30 million in 2011, that mergers and acquisitions hit $15 billion last year, and that Turkish airports handled 118 million passengers last year. All the signals are pointing in the right direction, pointing to Turkey continuing to be one of the strongest and most stable economies in the world, positively ripe for investment. A good base for a new year indeed.