Turkey consumer confidence rises from record low

Consumer confidence in Turkey rose from a record low in May as householders became more optimistic about their finances and the general economic outlook.

The benchmark index of confidence increased to 59.5 this month from 54.9 in April, the lowest level since records began in 2004, according to data published by the Turkish Statistical Institute on Wednesday. The index had stood at 69.5 in May last year.

Any reading below 100 reflects pessimism among the survey’s participants.

Turkey’s government has sought to curb the economic and financial impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on consumers by making it easier for them to repay debts and providing more financial aid to low income families and the unemployed.

The Turkish authorities reported the first case of the coronavirus on March 11. New infections have recently begun to decline, prompting the government to loosen population lockdowns and encourage people to return to work.

Householders’ financial expectations for the next 12 months improved to 79.2 in May from 72.5 in April, the institute said. Expectations for the general economic outlook increased to 81.8 from 74.8. The outlook for employment and for the probability of saving also rose, it said.