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Turkey's Inflation Hits Below IMF Target

   
BusinessANKARA, Turkey - Turkey's consumer inflation rose by 29.7 percent in 2002, according to figures released Friday. It was lower than the 35 percent target set in the country's International Monetary Fund-backed economic recovery program.

The State Statistics Institute said wholesale inflation was 30.8 percent in 2002. Turkey's new government has said it will aim for 20 percent inflation in 2003, in a sign that it plans to stick to the IMF program. The government, which came to power in November, has pledged to follow the IMF-backed plan, but wants to make some revisions to help the poor. The IMF has given Turkey $16 billion in loans to help it recover from a recession that saw the economy shrink 9.4 percent and prices rise by 68.5 percent in 2001. The IMF program aims to cut spending and privatize state companies to boost growth and curb inflation.
  
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