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Turkey expects lower growth amid currency turmoil

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gestures as he delivers a speech at a veterans' day event in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018.(Presidential Press Service via AP)

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey expects lower economic growth in coming years amid concerns over inflation and a sliding currency.

Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak presented the government’s economic plan Thursday, targeting 2.3 percent growth for 2019 and 3.5 percent for 2020. The previous target was 5.5 percent for both years.

Albayrak estimated inflation in 2018 would be 20.8 percent. The Turkish lira has lost around 40 percent against the dollar so far this year, sharply raising the price of imports.

The central bank last week raised interest rates sharply, from 17.75 percent to 24 percent, to try to stem inflation and support the currency.

Investors have been worried by Turkey’s high levels of foreign debt, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s economic policies and a diplomatic and trade dispute with the United States.

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