Turkish finance minister expects around 20% growth in Q2

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Pigeons fly over the Taksim Square during a nation-wide weekend curfew which was imposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Istanbul, Turkey December 5, 2020. REUTERS/Murad Sezer/File Photo/File Photo

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ISTANBUL, June 25 (Reuters) - Turkey's economy is expected to have grown around 20% in the second quarter of this year and will expand more in 2021 than the government forecast of 5.8%, Finance Minister Lutfi Elvan said on Friday.

The strong rate of growth in the second quarter will largely be thanks to the so-called base effect due to a nearly 10% contraction in Q2 2020.

Speaking to businesses in the southern city of Gaziantep, Elvan said a recent acceleration in COVID-19 vaccinations would support tourism and the services sector.

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"We expect double-digit growth in the second quarter of the year due to a strong base effect. We expect a growth of around 20%," he said.

"It is probable that we see a growth rate for the full year higher than the medium-term economic programme due to investments, industrial production and foreign demand," he said.

Turkey was one of few countries to grow in 2020, but economic activity was hit again this year due to strict pandemic lockdowns, especially in the tourism and services sectors.

Turkey has also been working to bring down inflation, which has been stuck in the double digits for most of the last four years.

Elvan said the Central Bank's stance on price stability was important, and that macroprudential measures will be implemented if needed to fight inflation.

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Reporting by Ezgi Erkoyun and Ali Kucukgocmen; Editing by Dominic Evans

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