Turkey’s economy rebounded powerfully in the second quarter to grow at a record pace after a sharp slowdown a year earlier caused by COVID-19 restrictions, official data showed Wednesday.
The gross domestic product (GDP) grew a massive 21.7% year-on-year in the April-June period, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) said, marking the highest level in data that goes back to 1999.
The economy expanded 0.9% compared to the previous quarter on a seasonally and calendar-adjusted basis, the data showed.
The first-quarter growth was revised to 7.2% from an initial 7%.
The economy grew 1.8% last year, despite a 10.4% plunge in the second quarter, one of only a few globally to avoid an annual contraction amid the initial pandemic fallout.
To battle surging COVID-19 cases, Turkey reimposed curfews, weekend lockdowns and restaurant closures this year, including a tougher but brief lockdown in April and May due to surging COVID-19 cases.
But manufacturing and the broader economy were largely unaffected by the measures, which were completely lifted in June.
Growth in the second quarter was led by services, which expanded 45.8% annually, followed by industry growth of 40.5% and information and communication sector expansion of 25.3%.
Slower growth was displayed by the real estate sector, which expanded 3.7%, construction at 3.1% and agriculture at 2.3%.
The second-quarter data came in parallel to market expectations. Treasury and Finance Minister Lütfi Elvan said in June that the annual growth rate could surpass 20%.
Forecast in a Reuters poll of 14 economists was for a 21.7% growth annually. This could push the GDP growth to 8% or more for 2021.
Bloomberg surveys expected a 21% growth from a year earlier and 1% from the first quarter. Forecasts in an Anadolu Agency (AA) survey were for a 21.8% growth and more than 8% for the whole year.
The government officially forecasts 5.8% growth this year, though Elvan said it could top 8% annually with a robust April-June performance.