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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Turkey Labour Force Survey October 2007

Working age population increased by 874 thousand in the period of October 2007 compared to the same period of the previous year

While non-institutional civilian population increased by 913 thousand persons and has reached to 73 million 792 thousand persons, non-institutional working age civilian population has increased by 874 thousand and has reached to 52 million 796 thousand persons in the period of October 2007.

Non-agricultural employment increased by 170 thousand

Number of employed persons decreased by 55 thousand persons compared to the same period of the previous year and has reached to 22 million 750 thousand persons in the period of October 2007. Agricultural employment decreased by 225 thousand persons and non-agricultural employment increased by 170 thousand persons in this period.

Of those who were employed in October 2007; 25.9 % was employed in agriculture, 20.2 % was employed in industry, 6.2 % was employed in construction and 47.7 % was employed in services. Employment in agriculture decreased by 0.9 while that industry increased by 0.1 percentage points and services increased by 0.8. The share of construction is realized without any change.

Number of unemployed persons increased by 114 thousand persons compared to the same period of the previous year and has reached to 2 million 458 thousand persons in Turkey. Unemployment rate realized as 9.7 % with 0.4 points increase. Unemployment rate increased to 11.8 % with a 0.5 percentage points increase in urban areas and increased to 6.6 % with 0.2 percentage points in rural areas.

Non-agricultural unemployment rate realized as 12.3 % with 0.4 percentage points increase compared to the same period of the previous year in Turkey. The rate is realized as 10.7 % with a 0.4 percentage points decrease for male and 18.6 % for female without any change.

In this period, of those who were unemployed;

• 70.8 % were male.
• 54.8 % had education below high school.
• 29.4 % were seeking job for one year or more.
• Unemployed persons were commonly seeking job through “their acquaintances” (30.7 %).
• 80.8 % (1 million 987 thousand) had worked previously.
• Among those who were employed previously; 49 % were employed in “services”, 23.3 % were employed in “industry”, 17.8 % were employed in “construction”, 9.9 % were employed in “agriculture”.

In this period, of those who were employed;

• 74.6 % were male,
• 61.2 % had education below high school.
• 59 % were regular and casual employee, 27.2 % were self-employed and employer,
13.8 % were unpaid family worker.
• 61.1 % worked in establishments consisting of “1-9 employees”.
• 2.4 % had an additional job.
• 3.2 % was seeking job either to replace the current job or to augment the existing job.
• 86.8 % of regular employees worked in permanent jobs.

The ratio of persons who worked without any social security related to the main job declined to 46.9 % with 1.7 percentage point decrease. The share of persons who did not have any social security in agriculture decreased from 88 % to 87.6 % and that in non-agriculture decreased from 34.2 % to 32.7 % compared to the same period of the previous year.

Labour force participation rate (LFPR) decreased to 47.7 % with 0.7 percentage points decrease compared to the same period of the previous year for Turkey in October 2007 period. LFPR was realized as 71.6 % with 0.4 percentage point decrease for male and decreased to 24.4 % with 0.9 percentage point decrease for female. LFPR was 45.5 % with a 0.3 percentage point decrease in urban areas and 51.8 % with a 1.3 percentage points decrease in rural areas in this period. As for the distribution of labour force by education and age group;

Turkey Industrial Output November 2007

According to data from Turkstat, the Turkish Monthly Industrial Production Index reached 156.2 in November 2007 and increased by 7.7 % when compared with November of 2007.

At the sub sector level, the mining index rose from 95.8 to 100.8 - increasing 5.2 %, manufacturing industry rose from 144.8 to 156.5 - increasing 8.1 %, electricity, gas and water rose from 176.5 to 185.6 increasing by 5.2% compared with November 2006.

When the eleven-month average of 2007 is also compared to previous year, total industry rose from 137.2 to 144.8 increasing by 5.5 %, mining rose from 97.7 to 108, increasing by 11.4 %, manufacturing industry rose from 136.5 to 143 increasing by 4.8 %, electricity, gas and water rose from 168.8 to 184,increasing by 9.2 %.

Consumer Confidernce Index December 2007

Turkey's Consumer Confidence Index, which was 92.52 in November 2007, increased by 1.48% compared to November 2007 and became 93.89 in December 2007.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Turkey Population Statistics

The Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat) has now published the results of the recently conducted census, and the data show Turkey's population to be currently slightly over 70 million.

Interior Minister Beşir Atalay announced on Monday that according to the Address-Based Birth Recording System (ADNKS), Turkey's population stood at 70,586,256 as of the end of 2007. State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Nazım Ekren gave the number of third country nationals living in Turkey as 98,339, noting that not counting the foreign population, Turkish citizens residing in Turkey number 70,487,917.

According to the figures Ekren gave, 70.5 percent of the population lives in cities while the remaining 29.5 percent lives in towns and villages. The average age is 28.3 years; half of the country's population falls below this average.

İstanbul hosts 17.8 percent of the country's population, at a density of 2,420 people per square kilometer. Having the highest population density, İstanbul is home to 12,573,836 people. According to ADNKS, there are 35,376,533 men and 35,209,723 women in Turkey. A total of 49,747,859 people live in cities, while 20,838,397 reside in towns and villages. Ankara province is the most urbanized of all provinces with 92.7 percent of its population living in cities, while Ardahan province has the lowest urbanization rate at 31.8 percent.

According to provincial proportions of total population, İstanbul ranks first with 17.8 percent of the total, followed by Ankara with 6.3, İzmir with 5.3, Bursa with 3.5 and Adana with 2.8 percent. The five provinces with the lowest populations are Bayburt, Tunceli, Ardahan, Kilis and Gümüşhane. Bayburt is home to 76,609 people. The capital of the country, Ankara, hosts 4,466,756 people.

The average age of the population is 27.7 for men and 28.8 for women while it is 28.4 among the urban population and 27.9 among the rural population. The 15-64 age group, those of employable age, account for 66.5 percent of the country's population. The 0-14 age group corresponds to 26.4 percent of the population while the 65 and above age group makes up 7.1 percent.

The population density, i.e., the number of people per square kilometer, is 92 for the country while it ranges between 11 and 2,420 among provinces. İstanbul's population density of 2,420 people per square kilometer is followed by Kocaeli with 398 people, İzmir with 311, Hatay with 238, and Bursa with 234. With 11 people per square kilometer, Tunceli has the lowest population density in the country. The population density is 50 people per square kilometer for Konya, which has the largest surface area of all provinces in Turkey, and 215 for Yalova, which has the smallest.

Moreover, foreign nationals living in Turkey account for 14 per 1,000 of the country's population. İstanbul is their city of choice (42,228), followed by Bursa (11,495), Ankara (7,166), İzmir (6,707) and Antalya (6,343).

The ADNKS was established by TurkStat but was later transferred to the Population and Naturalization General Directorate.

Ekren noted that the population was 67,803,927 in 2000 and had increased by 4.10 percent by the end of 2007.

A number of indicators will be changed in Turkey following this recent and more accurate census. Assessments and estimates will be made in a number of fields, including income per capita, the number of deputies per province and the allotment from the central budget for local administrations.

The Turkish Parliament passed a law on April 25, 2006 stipulating that a National Address Database (UAVT) that would contain all addresses of people living in Turkey be set up, that the residential addresses of Turkish citizens and foreign nationals should be identified and that the ADNKS should be established in which these addresses should be synchronized with civil registers in the Central Population Management System (MERNİS) using the ID numbers of Turkish citizens and passport numbers of foreign nationals. In this context, house numbering and address identification work was conducted to serve as the basis of the UAVT. Then, visits to these houses were made to interview the residents, and data were collected on forms. Following that, the two were synchronized to determine the population.

The number of ID holders issued by the Turkish state was 74,900,000 based on records maintained by the Interior Ministry's Population and Citizenship Services General Directorate's MERNİS. However, the exact figures on how many of these citizens resided abroad were not available. The results have confirmed that the system was not properly installed.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Turkey's Central Bank Lowers Rates to 15.5%

Turkey's central bank lowered its benchmark interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 15.5 percent today, the fourth consecutive reduction, after the economy grew at the slowest pace in six years and inflation expectations fell.

Economic growth slipped to 1.5 percent in the third quarter, the slowest pace since a 2001 recession, after the central bank raised borrowing costs by 4.25 points in June and July 2006 to restrain inflation. Since September, the bank has lowered the benchmark rate by 2 points.

The inflation rate was 8.4 percent in December, unchanged from the previous month and more than double a year-end target of 4 percent backed by the International Monetary Fund. While drought and increases in tobacco and fuel taxes drove up inflation from a three-decade low of 6.9 percent in July, price growth will resume its decline in the medium term, the bank said on Dec. 27.

Turkey's 12-month inflation forecast fell to 5.94 percent from 6.14 percent, according to a fortnightly survey of economists and businessmen published by the bank on Jan. 9. Turkey targets inflation of 4 percent this year.

Clearly the central bank is taking the view that the risks from slowing growth and the global environment outweigh inflation concerns at this point.

The prices of unprocessed food - which have been a major part of the headache - appear to have stabilized somewhat in the last two months of 2007, leading to a reduction in the annual inflation of this subgroup. Meanwhile, despite a relative slowdown, processed food prices continued to increase at a rapid rate and the 9.8 percent increase in processed food prices in the second half of the year adversely affected the core inflation indicators. Recent data is suggesting a rather more favorable weather outlook, boding well for the future prices of unprocessed food group. On the other hand, the response of processed food prices to agricultural supply shocks is likely to persist for some time; therefore, price increases in this group may continue for some months into 2008.

Energy prices rose by 0.89 percent in December as a result of hikes in energy items
in the housing group. With these hikes, annual inflation in the energy subgroup
rose to 11.25 percent. A further rise in annual inflation in the energy sector is expected in January due to increases in the price of electricity and natural gas. The bank expect this price adjustment to contribute by 0.6 points to CPI inflation in January.

Year on year increase in the prices of goods excluding energy and unprocessed food climbed to 6.6 percent due to an uptick in processed food inflation and the base effect on the clothing-footwear group. Generally, however, the downward trend in the prices of consumer durables continued in December.

A variety of recent data indicate that the recovery in economic activity continued in the last quarter of 2007. Industrial production rose by 8.3 percent and 7.7 percent year-on-year in October and November, respectively, and the average of October-November period exceeded the third quarter average in seasonally adjusted terms. Seasonally adjusted figures on capacity utilization also suggest that the growth in industrial production continued into December.

Leading indicators on consumption and investment present a similar outlook. Domestic sales of automobiles increased by 36.6 percent quarter-on-quarter in Q4 2007 and picked up markedly in seasonally adjusted terms compared to the third quarter. The moderate growth in consumer loans continued in December. The month-on-month change in automobile loans turned positive in real terms for the first time since June 2007. Real imports of consumer goods, passenger cars and consumer durables in particular, increased significantly on a year-on-year basis in the last quarter of 2007.

Leading indicators for investment demand point to an increase in machinery equipment
investments on a year-on-year and per quarter basis in the last quarter of 2007. In the October-November period, imports of capital goods increased by 36.2 percent relative to the same period last year, exceeding the level recorded in the third quarter in seasonally adjusted terms. Following a rebound in the third quarter, sales of light commercial vehicles maintained the upward trend in the last quarter growing by 23.6 percent in annual terms and recording a discernible rise in seasonally adjusted terms over the third quarter. Meanwhile, sales of heavy commercial vehicles have declined continuously on a monthly basis since September 2007, but rose by 1.6 percent year-on-year in the last quarter. Moreover, seasonally adjusted figures on production and import of machinery-equipment and electrical machinery point to a pick up ininvestments in the last quarter.

In the third quarter, the number of construction permits, one of the leading indicators of construction investments, decreased by 10.8 percent on a year-on-year basis, while the annual growth rate of the construction sector significantly lagged behind the growth rates observed in previous periods. The diffusion index of “the probability of purchasing or constructing a house in the next 12-month period”, compiled from the Consumer Confidence Survey, has been on a downward trend since July 2007, suggesting that the slowdown in the growth rate of housing construction is likely to persist in 2008. On the other hand the significant rise in employment in the construction sector in seasonally adjusted terms which took place during the second and third quarters of the year together with the marked increase in the production of non-metallic minerals in the last quarter signal that the slowdown in construction sector may well be fairly modest.

Exports rose by 13.5 percent in real terms compared to the same period last year according to quantity indices. Early readings on December and January also point to a continued upward trend in exports. Nevertheless, the growth rate of exports was surpassed by the growth rate of imports in the fourth quarter due to recovery in domestic demand and substantial increases in imports. Therefore, the effect of net foreign demand on growth is likely to be negative in the fourth quarter. The expected slowdown in the economic activity of developed countries has increased the downside risks on the course of exports.

In the third quarter of 2007, the pace of productivity growth fell behind real wages in manufacturing industry, leading to an increase in unit labor costs. Nonetheless, the slowdown in employment and the increase in productivity gains in the last quarter of the year points to a possible renewal of the downward trend in unit labor costs in the manufacturing industry.

The lira has gained almost 7 percent against the dollar since the bank began cutting rates in September. Gains for the lira help curb inflation by lowering the cost of imported raw materials and consumer goods.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Turkey Inflation December 2007

Turkish consumer prices rose 0.22 pct in December from November to reach 8.39 pct on a 12-month basis, more than double the government's inflation target, according to data released by Turkstat earlier this week. This made the second year in a row Turkey missed its year-end inflation target under an economic recovery programme backed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Producer prices climbed also by 0.15 pct from November to December for a total increase of 5.94 pct in 2007, the institute said. The Central Bank has blamed higher oil prices and a long-lasting drought for the figure and warned last month planned electricity, natural gas and food prices rises would continue to pose risks to limiting inflation.

In 2006, inflation was 9.65 pct, nearly double the austerity programme's 5 pct target. Tight IMF-backed financial policies had helped the government beat inflation targets over the previous three years, bringing the rate down from 29.7 pct in 2002 to 7.7 pct in 2005. Turkey has set its year-end inflation target at 4 pct for 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Turkish GDP Q3 2007

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased by 1.5 percent in the third quarter of 2007 compared with the same period of 2006. This was obviously a slowdown, although the very low year on year performance owes a good deal to slowing growth in earlier quarters than to any special slowdown in Q3. Seasonally adjusted data, however, point to a 0.6 percent decline over the second quarter. Domestic demand gave a strong boost to GDP in Q3, while the public sector impetus slowed; the contribution of net foreign demand, however, was noticeably negative, and this is perhaps the most significant detail. While the lagged effects of the monetary tightening have continued, albeit at a weaker rate, temporary supply shocks in the agricultural sector have accentuated the slowdown in economic activity.

The nine months growth rate of gross domestic product in 2007 has increased by 11.6% to 468 212 million New Turkish Liras in current prices and 3.8% to 121.7 million New Turkish Liras in constant prices while - due to the rise in the value of the lira in comparison with USD - gross national product increased by 19.2% in dollar terms to 348 472 million USA dollar.

The contribution of private consumption demand to growth increased significantly over the third quarter, consistent. In seasonally adjusted terms, private consumption demand, which has grown modestly since mid-2006, increased by 2.3 percent in this period compared to the previous quarter, largely on the back of spending on durables and semi- or non-durables

The year on year growth rate of private final consumption expenditure in Q3 was 3.6, while government final consumption expenditure 6.4%, gross fixed capital formation 5.7%, exports of goods and services 7.5%, imports of goods and services 16.8% (all in constant prices).

On a more positive note, leading indicators for the fourth quarter point to a moderate recovery in economic activity. Industrial production grew by 7.9 percent year-on-year in October and was up markedly from September in seasonally adjusted terms.

Indicators for private consumption and investment demand also suggest a similar outlook. According to the seasonally adjusted data, following a downbeat reading in September, domestic sales of automobiles grew rapidly in the October-November period compared to the third quarter. The CNBC-e consumption index also exceeded its third-quarter average. Moreover, imports of consumer goods jumped in October compared to the same month last year. Seasonally adjusted domestic sales of white goods also rebounded in October but remained below the third-quarter average.

Despite a slowdown in machinery-equipment production, imports of machinery-equipment gained speed in October over September and also the preceding quarter. In addition, both production and imports in the electrical machinery industry increased significantly on a year-on-year and per quarter basis. Following a rebound in the third quarter, domestic sales of light commercial vehicles recorded high growth rates during the October-November period compared to the previous quarter. Imports of capital goods grew sharply by 41.3 percent in October on a year-on-year basis and seasonally adjusted figures point to a continued acceleration. In sum, leading indicators except for machinery-equipment production suggest that investments picked up in the fourth quarter on a yearly and quarterly basis.

Exports continue to expand owing to productivity gains and on the back of strong external demand. Preliminary data indicate that exports recorded a high growth rate in November in dollar terms. Nevertheless, according to quantity indices that exclude the price effect, real exports grew at a lower pace than real imports in the second half of the year. The strengthening demand for imported goods, particularly automobiles and commercial vehicles and other capital goods, signal that the contribution of net foreign demand to growth will continue to be negative in the last quarter.

Turkey Inflation November 2007

Consumer prices rose by 1.95 percent in November, bringing the annual inflation to 8.40 percent. Administered prices accounted for about 1 percentage point of the month-on-month increase in headline inflation. The upward trend in the prices of processed food and catering services group suggest that the drought continued to be effective on food inflation in November as well.

Energy prices edged up sharply in November by 6.78 percent, raising the annual inflation in this group to 11.02 percent. This was mainly attributable to the rise in the prices of fuel oil and LP gas, driven by hikes in the Special Consumption Tax, as well as to the new municipal water tariff in stanbul. Aside from adjustments in administered prices, the recent increase in international oil prices was also instrumental in the rise of energy prices. The planned hikes in electricity and natural gas prices in the upcoming period, together with the future course of oil prices, pose a significant risk to energy prices.

Despite the decline in the prices of clothing and footwear, the year-on-year inflation in goods excluding energy and unprocessed food posted an increase in November due to significant price hikes in processed food, tobacco products and gold. The prices of consumer durables, on the other hand, maintained its downward trend in November. Following the tax hikes on tobacco products, the prices of alcoholic beverages and tobacco group increased by 6.51 percent month-on-month, bringing the annual inflation rate for this group to 17.21 percent. In other words, nearly 0.85 percentage pointsof the annual CPI inflation stems from the tobacco prices.

Turkey's Performance in 2007

The Turkish lira posted its biggest annual gain yet against the dollar in 2007 as the central bank kept interest rates three times higher than in the U.S. and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan won elections in July. The lira rose a record 21 percent versus the U.S. dollar in 2007, more than any emerging-market currency Even the conflict with Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq has failed to dent optimism Erdogan would extend 23 consecutive quarters of economic growth.

The Turkish central bank kept its benchmark interest rate at 17.5 percent until September, before cutting it in each of the past four months by a combined 1.75 percentage points to 15.75 percent. The Fed's key rate is 4.25 percent, while the Bank of Japan's is 0.5 percent, making the lira attractive for the so-called carry trade, where funds are borrowed in low interest-rate currencies and used to buy higher-yielding assets.

Erdogan's Justice and Development Party won July's parliamentary elections with 47 percent of the vote, more than twice that of its nearest rival. The Turkish economy has doubled to $400 billion under Erdogan's government. The country attracted $20 billion in foreign investment in 2006.

Turkish bonds gained in 2007, with yields falling an average 4.58 percentage points, according to an ABN Amro Holding NV Index. Yields rose 7.36 percentage points last year.