Turkish retail sales climb in April, led by fuel

Turkish retail sales volume increased in April, led by a rise in the sales of fuel.

Sales at constant prices climbed 0.5 percent from March. Fuel sales grew 0.8 percent and food, drinks and tobacco sales by 0.6 percent, the Turkish Statistical Institute said on Monday. Sales of non-food items, excluding fuel, added 0.4 percent, it said.

The sales volume rose 8 percent compared with April 2017, the institute said.

Turkey’s government has sought to stimulate economic activity since a failed military coup in July 2016, via tax cuts, loan guarantees and other measures. The economy grew 7.4 percent annually in the first quarter, the highest rate of the 34-member OECD, after a 7.3 percent expansion in the previous three months.

Government officials, speaking ahead of elections this Sunday, say Turkey's high growth rates will continue in the remainder of the year, though perhaps at a lower level. The country's central bank has been forced to raise interest rates by 425 basis points to 17.75 percent in May and June to stem a sell-off in the lira, partly caused by concerns over economic overheating.

Turkish retail sales
Source: State Statistical Institute