Turkey Economy - 2021


GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese

Economic overview

Turkey's largely free-market economy is driven by its industry and, increasingly, service sectors, although its traditional agriculture sector still accounts for about 25% of employment. The automotive, petrochemical, and electronics industries have risen in importance and surpassed the traditional textiles and clothing sectors within Turkey's export mix. However, the recent period of political stability and economic dynamism has given way to domestic uncertainty and security concerns, which are generating financial market volatility and weighing on Turkey’s economic outlook.

Current government policies emphasize populist spending measures and credit breaks, while implementation of structural economic reforms has slowed. The government is playing a more active role in some strategic sectors and has used economic institutions and regulators to target political opponents, undermining private sector confidence in the judicial system. Between July 2016 and March 2017, three credit ratings agencies downgraded Turkey’s sovereign credit ratings, citing concerns about the rule of law and the pace of economic reforms.

Turkey remains highly dependent on imported oil and gas but is pursuing energy relationships with a broader set of international partners and taking steps to increase use of domestic energy sources including renewables, nuclear, and coal. The joint Turkish-Azerbaijani Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline is moving forward to increase transport of Caspian gas to Turkey and Europe, and when completed will help diversify Turkey's sources of imported gas.

After Turkey experienced a severe financial crisis in 2001, Ankara adopted financial and fiscal reforms as part of an IMF program. The reforms strengthened the country's economic fundamentals and ushered in an era of strong growth, averaging more than 6% annually until 2008. An aggressive privatization program also reduced state involvement in basic industry, banking, transport, power generation, and communication. Global economic conditions and tighter fiscal policy caused GDP to contract in 2009, but Turkey's well-regulated financial markets and banking system helped the country weather the global financial crisis, and GDP growth rebounded to around 9% in 2010 and 2011, as exports and investment recovered following the crisis.

The growth of Turkish GDP since 2016 has revealed the persistent underlying imbalances in the Turkish economy. In particular, Turkey’s large current account deficit means it must rely on external investment inflows to finance growth, leaving the economy vulnerable to destabilizing shifts in investor confidence. Other troublesome trends include rising unemployment and inflation, which increased in 2017, given the Turkish lira’s continuing depreciation against the dollar. Although government debt remains low at about 30% of GDP, bank and corporate borrowing has almost tripled as a percent of GDP during the past decade, outpacing its emerging-market peers and prompting investor concerns about its long-term sustainability.

Real GDP growth rate

0.98% (2019 est.)

3.04% (2018 est.)

7.54% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 174

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

15.4% (2019 est.)

16.2% (2018 est.)

11.1% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 216

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: BB- (2019)

Moody's rating: B2 (2020)

Standard & Poors rating: B+ (2018)

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$2,371,374,000,000 (2019 est.)

$2,349,836,000,000 (2018 est.)

$2,282,304,000,000 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

country comparison to the world: 13

GDP (official exchange rate)

$760.028 billion (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$28,424 (2019 est.)

$28,545 (2018 est.)

$28,141 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

country comparison to the world: 73

Gross national saving

26% of GDP (2019 est.)

27.7% of GDP (2018 est.)

26% of GDP (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 62

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 6.8% (2017 est.)

industry: 32.3% (2017 est.)

services: 60.7% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 59.1% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 14.5% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 29.8% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 1.1% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 24.9% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -29.4% (2017 est.)

Ease of Doing Business Index scores

Overall score: 76.8 (2020)

Starting a Business score: 88.8 (2020)

Trading score: 91.6 (2020)

Enforcement score: 71.4 (2020)

Agricultural products

milk, wheat, sugar beet, tomatoes, barley, maize, potatoes, grapes, watermelons, apples


textiles, food processing, automobiles, electronics, mining (coal, chromate, copper, boron), steel, petroleum, construction, lumber, paper

Industrial production growth rate

9.1% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 18

Labor force

25.677 million (2020 est.)

note: this number is for the domestic labor force only; number does not include about 1.2 million Turks working abroad, nor refugees

country comparison to the world: 21

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 18.4%

industry: 26.6%

services: 54.9% (2016)

Unemployment rate

13.68% (2019 est.)

11% (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 170

Population below poverty line

14.4% (2018 est.)

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

41.9 (2018 est.)

43.6 (2003)

country comparison to the world: 48

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2.1%

highest 10%: 30.3% (2008)


revenues: 172.8 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 185.8 billion (2017 est.)

Taxes and other revenues

20.3% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 151

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-1.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 91

Public debt

28.3% of GDP (2017 est.)

28.3% of GDP (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 169

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

$8.561 billion (2019 est.)

-$20.745 billion (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 26


$310.671 billion (2019 est.)

$296.288 billion (2018 est.)

$271.866 billion (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 23

Exports - partners

Germany 9%, United Kingdom 6%, Iraq 5%, Italy 5%, United States 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

cars and vehicle parts, refined petroleum, delivery trucks, jewelry, clothing and apparel (2019)


$258.385 billion (2019 est.)

$272.933 billion (2018 est.)

$291.523 billion (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 27

Imports - partners

Germany 11%, China 9%, Russia 9%, United States 5%, Italy 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

gold, refined petroleum, crude petroleum, vehicle parts, scrap iron (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$107.7 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$106.1 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 24

Debt - external

$438.677 billion (2019 est.)

$454.251 billion (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 30

Exchange rates

Turkish liras (TRY) per US dollar -

7.81925 (2020 est.)

5.8149 (2019 est.)

5.28905 (2018 est.)

2.72 (2014 est.)

2.1885 (2013 est.)

NOTE: The information regarding Turkey on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Turkey 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Turkey 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 16 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.