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Turkish econ min sees stronger growth, measures to control food prices

Zeybekci said food inflation of around 14 percent was due to speculators and forecast that it would fall

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Turkey’s economic growth will accelerate to well above 1.5 percent in the second quarter and a 4 percent growth target this year remains attainable, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci told Reuters in an interview late on Tuesday.

Zeybekci said he saw no reason for the central bank to hike interest rates in the current environment, despite the weakness of the lira, which he said was 5-8 percent undervalued. But he also did not expect the bank to cut rates at its next meeting.

Zeybekci said food inflation of around 14 percent was due to speculators and forecast that it would fall, saying that the government would take measures including the possible derestriction of imports on certain food products.

Speaking to Reuters in Ankara, Zeybekci said he expected Standard & Poor’s to keep its rating on Turkey unchanged at a review on Friday, but predicted that agencies would upgrade their ratings on Turkey after a June general election.