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Turkish cenbank says indicators point to slowdown in growth, FX reserves rise

file photo: a money changer counts turkish lira banknotes at a currency exchange office in ankara
REUTERS/Cagla Gurdogan/File Photo

Leading indicators for the second half continue pointing to a slowdown in growth due to the weakening foreign demand, the Turkish central bank said on Thursday, a week after it said it was ending its easing cycle with a 150-basis point rate cut.

In the minutes of last week’s monetary policy committee meeting, the bank said the weakening effects of geopolitical risks on global economic activity continue to increase.

It also said its targets encouraging conversions to Turkish lira deposits under its liraization strategy had been fulfilled.

Meanwhile, the Turkish central bank’s net international reserves rose some $760 million to $19.51 billion in the week to Nov. 25, hitting their highest since mid-February.

The exchange rate used by Reuters on Thursday was 18.6045. In July, the net forex reserves dropped to $6.07 billion, their lowest in at least 20 years, but since rebounded.

Forex reserves have dropped sharply in recent years due to market interventions and in the wake of a currency crisis in December. The lira lost 44 per cent of its value against dollar last year.

The currency is down some 29 per cent against the greenback this year and inflation climbed to more than 85 per cent in October, the highest in President Tayyip Erdogan’s two-decade rule.

Data showed the bank’s outstanding swap transactions stood at $45.15 billion as of Wednesday. The reserves are in negative territory once the swaps are deducted.

Note: The figures are released every week on the central bank balance sheet as per a letter of intent with the International Monetary Fund dated 18 January 2002. The figures are released in Turkish liras and are converted by Reuters to US dollars using the central bank’s official exchange rate from the previous work day.

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