There are downside risks to growth but it is still too early to talk about making revisions to the government's forecast of 4% GDP growth for 2014, finance minister Mehmet Simsek said on Wednesday in his first comments after the Central Bank delivered massive rate hikes to stop the depreciation of TRY. Better assessments on the economic outlook could be made after March, the minister said, stressing that the on-going political tensions and tightening will slow growth and domestic demand. The local elections will be held in March. Recent developments will have a limited impact on the budget, Simsek also said. On a separate note, the Central Bank announced on its website that in line with the simplification decision taken at the Monetary Policy Committee Meeting on Jan 28 , additional monetary tightening policy will be ended as of Wednesday (Jan 29). TRY, which hit record lows against the dollar this week before the Central Bank's rate decision, strengthened to 2.165 in early Wednesday trade but weakened to 2.24 against the dollar later in the day. TRY weakened against USD on strong corporate demand, dealers told Reuters.
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