Turkey industrial confidence slides as COVID-19 hits output

Confidence among Turkish manufacturers slid at a faster pace than during a currency crisis in the summer of 2018 as the COVID-19 outbreak hit production and exports.

The country’s seasonally adjusted index of confidence dropped to 98.6 points in March from 106.7 in February, the central bank said on Wednesday. The decline of 8.1 points beat a fall of 5.2 points in August 2018 and a drop of 5.9 points in September of that year.

Cases of the coronavirus in Turkey have surged since the country reported its first case on March 11. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said seven more people died on Tuesday and announced 343 new cases, raising the total number to 1,872.

Expectations among manufacturers for the general business situation slumped to 87.9 points from 103.4, the central bank said. The outlook for the volume of output over the next three months slumped to 101.7 from 120.1. Fixed investment expenditure dropped to 99.7 from 105.9.

Any reading below 100 points reflects pessimism.