Columnist: Economic performance of AK Party cause for alarm

Market analyst Selim Iiiklar has drawn attention to the poor economic performance of the government in his latest column in the Zaman daily, where he reviewed macro and microeconomic indicators for the last four years since the last parliamentary election in 2011.
Weeks before a forthcoming general election that is slated for June 7, Iiiklar evaluated on Monday the Justice and Development Partyand’s (AK Party) performance in the economy.
Looking at foreign exchange rates, Iiiklar underscored that the lira has depreciated by 62 percent over the last four years against the US dollar and fell from 1.62 to 2.62. The currency lost 29 percent of its value against the euro and depreciated from 2.32 to 2.86, Iiiklar noted.
He also underlined that Turkeyand’s gross external debt surpassed $400 billion, 34 percent higher than the pre-2001 election period.
Regarding changes in the consumer price index (CPI), Iiiklar said the inflation rate, which hovered at 6.31 percent in 2011, had surged to 8.3 percent on average over the last four years. Unemployment, in the meantime, rose from 9.8 percent in 2011 to 11.2 percent in 2015 while the US, for example, managed to bring down unemployment from 9.1 percent to 5.4 percent.
While the countryand’s gross domestic product (GDP) increased barely from $774 billion to $800 billion from 2012 to 2015, the foreign trade deficit, on the other hand, amounted to $374 billion in the last four years, Iiiklar said, underlining that the current situation is not sustainable.
The Turkish stock exchange, which rose from its 2011 value of 62,000 points to 85,000 points in 2015, dropped from 38,000 points to 33,000 points in the same period on a dollar basis. Iiiklar noted while other stock exchanges in the world had performed better in the last four years compared to previous years, the situation in Turkey is the exact opposite. Public debt also surged by 30 percent from TL 492 billion in May 2011 to TL 647 billion in April.
and”Looking at all these statistics, it seems Turkey has been creating the exact opposite outlook despite a positive image globally. You can either say andlsquothe economy is skiddingand’ or andlsquoit is in a temporary crisis,and’ but this is the picture.and”
Highlighting that the purchasing power of retirees has fallen considerably in the last four years, Iiiklar said the minimum wage in Turkey, on the other hand, has remained at around $330.
and”Four full years have passed since the last general election. Taking into account all the developments in global markets, the economy record of the government falls well behind the average,and” Iiiklar said, warning of the challenges that may be faced in the post-election period.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman