Turkey industrial output slumps most in decade
Turkey’s industrial production slumped the most in almost 10 years, led by a slide in manufacturing.
Production fell an annual 9.8 percent in December, declining for a fourth-straight month, the Turkish Statistical Institute said on Thursday. It was the steepest drop since June 2009. The manufacturing index fell by an annual 10.8 percent, while output in mining and quarrying dropped 2.1 percent.
Turkish industrialists are grappling with an economic downturn sparked by a currency crisis that peaked in August. The lira fell 28 percent in 2018, pushing the economy, which was overheating in the first half of the year, into a quarterly contraction in the three months to September. Many economists are now predicting a prolonged period of negative or lacklustre economic growth.
Annual production of every classification of product contracted in December, with output of intermediate goods slumping 14.9 percent annually. Durable consumer goods production dropped 8.9 percent, capital goods output fell 8.6 percent and that of non-durable consumer goods by 6.4 percent.
Turkey’s industrial slump comes amid efforts by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government to spur demand among businesses and consumers with a slew of tax cuts, investment incentives and help with cheaper financing. Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is facing nationwide local elections on March 31 with many voters undecided.
On a monthly basis, industrial production fell by 1.4 percent in December compared with November, showing that a decline in output accelerated. It was the fifth-straight month of negative output. The manufacturing index again led the slide, dropping a monthly 1.6 percent, the figures showed. Production of electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning decreased 0.8 percent.