Turkey’s consumer confidence edges higher in March

Turkish consumer confidence rose in March as householders became less pessimistic about their finances and the state of the economy.

The index of confidence climbed to 59.4 points this month from 57.8 points in February, the Turkish Statistical Institute said on its website on Thursday. Any reading below 100 points indicates pessimism about the future.

Turkish consumers have seen their spending power curtailed by a surge in interest rates and inflation following a currency crisis last year. Unemployment has also jumped amid an economic recession – the economy contracted on a quarterly basis during the second half of last year.

The consumer confidence index had dropped to 57.6 points in October, the lowest level in almost a decade, but has struggled to increase since.

Turkish Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said earlier this week that the economy would perform much better in the first quarter of this year and that inflation of 19.7 percent would slow to single figures by September along with interest rates. In January, Albayrak had said Turkey would escape a recession.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s governing party is contesting nationwide local elections on March 31. Party officials are concerned they will lose control of the capital Ankara due to the economic turmoil, the Financial Times reported this week.


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