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Turkey's big slowdown not yet felt on the street

The economy remains a more distant concern for Turks, many of whom have turned their attention to other political questions. But one indication of brewing trouble is the weakening currency.

Umit Bektas/Reuters/File
A vendor sells potatoes and other vegetables to a customer in an open market in central Ankara, Turkey, February 5, 2014.

For months, economists have been predicting that Turkey’s rapid growth will stall in 2014. Yet while there are ominous signs of a decline, for now, the predicted slowdown looms at a distance: dampening moods but not much else.

“The economic slowdown hasn’t really materialized on the street quite yet, so there isn’t a huge level of alarm,” explains our correspondent in Istanbul. “That may change as the economic slowdown makes itself felt – 2 percent gross domestic product growth is predicted this year. When unemployment starts rising, you could see higher levels of social unrest.”

Turkey’s young, developing economy needs an estimated 5 percent growth to absorb new entrants to the job market. In 2010 and 2011, it was well above that level, expanding by 9.2 and then 8.8 percent, respectively. 2014′s growth is likely to be significantly below the 5 percent threshold.

One indication of brewing trouble has been the lira-to-dollar exchange rate.... For the rest of the story, continue reading at our new business publication Monitor Global Outlook.

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