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Turkish economy grows by official 8.2 percent in third quarter

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Turkey again turned in spectacular economic growth data on Monday, with official figures putting expansion at 8.2 percent in the third quarter.

Turkey, a country of about 73 million people and the world’s 17th-biggest economy, shows one of the highest growth rates in the world, but the government expects it to about halve next year because of the eurozone crisis.

The economy grew by 8.9 percent in 2010, but only 10 years ago the country was in the throes of deep economic crisis and in the arms of the International Monetary Fund.

Gross domestic product in the first nine months of 2011 increased by 9.6 percent, the Turkish Statistics Institute (TUIK) said on its website.

However a big current account deficit widened further, rising by $31.5 billion (23.7 billion euros) in the first 10 months of the year, the central bank said, which is an increase of 94 percent from the figure for the same period of 2010.

The current account deficit, a critical measure of all current payments out of a country and all payments in, now amounts to $60 billion, it added.

TUIK also revised upwards its economic growth figures for the first quarter of 2011, from 11.6 percent to 12.

Gross national product (GNP) per capita was $10.079 in 2010, according to the TUIK, compared to $8.590 in 2009.

“We marked the second-highest quarterly growth after China. Of course it is a success,” Nihat Ergun, the minister of science, industry and technology told private news channel NTV.

He said the government expected growth of 8.0 percent for 2011.

For 2012, the government expects 4.0-percent growth, indicating a sharp slowdown owing to the effects of the eurozone debt crisis. For 2013 and 2014, the government expects growth of 5.0 percent.

Turkey, which hopes to join the European Union and is vying to take on a bigger role in the Middle East, emerged from dire economic problems nearly a decade ago with aid from the International Monetary Fund, in return for deep structural reforms which are now bearing fruit.