Turkey industrial output slumps record 31 percent

Turkey’s industrial production fell by an annual 31 percent in April, the biggest decline on record, as the COVID-19 outbreak pummelled economic activity.

Industrial output also fell by 30 percent compared with March, the Turkish Statistical Institute said on Friday.

The annual decline in production beat all estimates in a Reuters poll of seven financial institutions earlier this week. The survey had predicted a contraction of between 9.5 percent and 28 percent, with the median estimate at 17 percent.

The Turkish economy is expected to enter its second recession in as many years due to the measures the government has taken to contain the spread of the coronavirus and a slump in demand for exports. Turkey reported its first case of the illness on March 11.

Output of manufacturers slid by an annual 33 percent in April, the institute said. Indexes measuring production in mining and quarrying and output of electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning both fell by 15 percent.

The institute also revised figures for annual industrial production in March to 1.7 percent from a previous 2 percent.

The slump in production dwarfed an annual decline of 9.8 percent in December 2018, which was the biggest drop in almost a decade. The contraction had followed a currency crisis in the summer of the same year.

Annual production had fallen by as much as 18 percent following the global financial crisis of 2008.

Turkish data for monthly industrial production goes back as far as January 2003.