March consumer morale dips to lowest in 6 years

Turkey’s consumer confidence index (CCI) fell to 64.39 points in March, a six-year low, data released by the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat) on Monday revealed.

The decline in March constituted the lowest reading since March 2009. According to the statistics, the index slipped 54 percent from 68.

06 points in February to 64.39 in March amid deterioration in expectations in terms of general economic outlook and other sub-indicators.

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Turkeyand#39s consumer confidence index (CCI) fell to 64.39 points in March, a six-year low, data released by the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat) on Monday revealed.

The decline in March constituted the lowest reading since March 2009.

According to the statistics, the index slipped 54 percent from 68.

06 points in February to 64.39 in March amid deterioration in expectations in terms of general economic outlook and other sub-indicators.

A score of 100 or above in the indices released by TurkStat reflects a positive outlook while a score below 100 indicates a negative one. All indices stood well below 100 points in March, suggesting that consumer morale in Turkey was clouded in pessimism in that month.

Prepared in coordination with the Central Bank of Turkey, the TurkStat data have revealed that the general economic situation expectation index decreased 5 percent from 90.87 points in February to 86.

30 points in March, indicating that the number of consumers who anticipate a better economic situation over the next year saw a decline.

The financial situation expectation index, which pertains to how one perceives the overall financial situation of his or her household, fell by 16 percent.

The data also show that the index regarding expectations for savings dropped 17.5 percent from 25 points to 20.

61 points between February and March, revealing that consumers believe they will be less likely to set money aside in the next 12 months.

A surge in the number of individuals expecting an increase in the number of unemployed persons in the next 12 months pushed the relevant sub-index down by 63 percent to 65.

28 points in March compared to a month ago.

Standard Bankand#39s emerging market research chief Timothy Ash remarked on the data, saying: andldquo[The] big drop underlines that the economy is struggling to get tractionfire on all cylinders this side of elections in June.

This explains the huge pressure exerted on Turkeyand#39s central bank to cut rates, which actually backfired as it delivered just market volatility, leaving the bank unable to cut rates as much as might have been the case had [President Recep Tayyip] ErdoIan adopted a more hands-off approach to the bank. The danger is that this weak data will just encourage politicians to renew their assault on the bank, which markets will view with nervousness.

andrdquo

Ash continued: andquotIt was notable that last month saw a significant easing up in the fiscal sphere, as the administration look to pump prime growth this side of elections.andquot

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SOURCE: Today’s Zaman