Turkish economy minister expects central bank to continue rate cuts

Turkey's Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci speaks during an interview with Reuters in Ankara August 11, 2014. REUTERS/Murad Sezer

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said he expected the central bank, which has cut its lending rate for three straight months, to continue with rate cuts and that a 50 basis point reduction each time was a good level.

In his first interview since taking office two weeks ago, he told Reuters he expected economic growth in the first quarter and full year to be above market expectations, saying there was no need to revise the 2016 target of 4.5 percent.

The year-end inflation target of 7.5 percent was achievable, Zeybekci also said late on Tuesday. He expected exports to reach $150 billion in 2016, just shy of a target of $155.5 billion, after declines in the first half.

Reporting by Orhan Coskun and Nevzat Devranoglu; Writing by Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Daren Butler/Nick Tattersall