Turkish economic confidence slides as coronavirus impact resonates

Economic confidence in Turkey slipped in March, scrubbing out gains for the year, as the spread of the coronavirus started to take its toll on business sentiment.

The benchmark index of confidence dropped to 91.8 points from 97.5 in February, the Turkish Statistical Institute said on Friday. Any reading below 100 points reflects pessimism among respondents.

Turkey’s economic activity is declining sharply as businesses and shopping centres suspend operations. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced a package of measures worth as much as 100 billion liras ($15 billion) last week, as his government took steps to soften the economic blow of the outbreak.

The index is calculated by combining other sub-indexes encapsulating consumers, manufacturers, the services and retail sectors, and construction. The biggest decline this month was registered in the so-called real sector confidence index, which dropped to 98.6 points from 106.7 points in February.