Turkish retail sales dip in sign of economic slowdown
Retail sales in Turkey fell in May, led by lower fuel purchases, in a further sign that rate increases and losses for the lira are causing an economic slowdown after three quarters of runaway growth.
Sales in the retail industry dropped 1.3 percent from April, the biggest monthly decline since October, the Turkish Statistical Institute said on Wednesday. Annual sales rose 4.6 percent, almost half the expansion in April and the slowest growth since November’s 3.1 percent increase.
Turkey’s central bank has raised interest rates by 500 basis points this year to tame inflation, which surged to 15.4 percent in June, and to stem losses for the lira, which had raised the specter of a currency crisis. The lira has slumped about 20 percent against the dollar this year, paring demand for imported goods such as petrol, cars and television sets.
Non-food sales, except fuel, declined 0.7 percent monthly in May. Food, drinks and tobacco sales fell 0.3 percent.
Turkey's economy grew by an average of over 8 percent in the nine months to March.