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Syrian refugees boost Turkish economy, but for how long?

Syrian refugees provided a much-needed boost to the slowing Turkish economy last year, but their contribution is not expected to last.
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The Turkish economy grew an average of 3% in the past four years, a rate that trails behind the country’s 50-year average of 4.5%. The slowdown is the result of both the weakening global economy and adverse political and economic conditions at home. Yet a much-needed booster has come from an unlikely quarter — the Syrian refugees.

Close to 3 million people have fled to Turkey since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011, and their impact on the economy is becoming more pronounced. Beating expectations, Turkey’s economy grew 5.7% in the last quarter of 2015, the highest rate in the G-20 group after China and India. The overall growth rate for 2015 was 4%, again a surprise compared to the previous year, with household consumption contributing 3 percentage points to headline growth. Economists believe Syrian refugees played an important part in boosting consumption spending as it became the driving force of the economy.

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