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May 15 2019

Turkey retail sales climb for third month in March

Retail sales in Turkey increased for a third month in March, according to official data published on Wednesday.

The sales, calculated at constant prices, climbed by 1 percent from February on a calendar and seasonally adjusted basis. The increase followed an advance of 0.8 percent in February and 1.3 percent in January.

The advance in March was led by sales of non-food items, excluding fuel, which rose 1.7 percent, almost double the pace of February’s 0.9 percent gain, according to the data, published by the Turkish Statistical Institute. Food, drinks and tobacco sales rose by 1.1 percent.

Investors in Turkey are looking for signs that the economy is emerging from a painful recession, which began in the third quarter of last year. The economy shrank by a quarterly 2.4 percent in the three months to December, adding to a 1.6 percent contraction in the previous three months.

On an annual basis, retail sales fell 3.8 percent in March, the smallest decline since September. It was the seventh-straight month that sales fell. Sales of non-food items slid an annual 5.4 percent.