Turkish retail sales rise at fastest pace since September

Retail sales in Turkey climbed at the fastest rate in five months in February, according to official figures.

Calendar and seasonally adjusted sales in the industry rose by a monthly 3.4 percent, the Turkish Statistical Institute said on Tuesday. They had risen by 0.6 percent in January.

Sales of non-food items, excluding automotive fuel, led the advance, increasing by 5.4 percent.

Turkey’s government has sought to stimulate consumer demand for goods and services during the COVID-19 pandemic by lowering sales taxes and encouraging banks to lend. The measures have spurred demand for imports, widening the current account deficit.

Retail sales rose by 4.6 percent in February compared with the same month of 2020, the highest increase since November.

Industrial production in Turkey grew by an annual 8.8 percent in February, with manufacturing expanding by 9.3 percent, the institute said in a separate statement. Production had advanced by 11.3 percent in January. On a month-on-month basis, industrial output rose by 0.1 percent.