Turkish consumer confidence dips for second month in March – survey

Consumer confidence in Turkey declined in March, falling for the second straight month, after the lira slid against the dollar, according to a monthly survey published by BloombergHT television.

Sentiment among consumers fell to 65.1 points from 69.03 points in February and 72.55 the previous month, survey data showed. It was the biggest decline since November.

Turkey’s lira has dropped against the dollar, imparting upward pressure on inflation and hurting spending power, after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan sacked and replaced the governor of the central bank on March 19. The lira traded at 8.15 per dollar on Thursday, a decline of 12 percent since the dismissal of Naci Ağbal, a former finance minister.

The index’s downward path stood in sharp contrast to a measure published by the Turkish Statistical Institute. Consumer confidence rose for the third straight month in March to 86.7 points, the highest level since August 2018, the institute said on March 24. It had stood at 80.1 points in December.

Inflation in Turkey accelerated to 15.6 percent in February. A rise in global food and oil prices, as well as the lira's declines, is expected to impact inflation in March. The rate may increase to 16.1 percent, Reuters reported on Wednesday citing a survey of economists it conducted.

The Turkish Statistical Institute is due to publish March inflation data on Monday.