Turkey’s revised retail sales index points to 11% annual expansion in January

Turkey’s revised retail sales index points to 11% annual expansion in January
By bne IntelliNews March 19, 2018

Turkey's calendar-adjusted retail sales volume index rose by 10.7% y/y in January, the highest annual growth recorded since last August, national statistics office TUIK reported on March 19.

TUIK also announced that it has changed the base year for the retail sales index calculation to 2015. The statistics office's recent revisions in its data series have triggered significant fluctuations in favour of the Turkish economy, raising question marks over the reliability of the revised series.

According to the new series, the latest annual contraction was seen in February last year and retail sales kept in growth territory during the 11 months from March 2017 to January 2018.

Turkey’s average annual retail sales growth jumped to 5.7% in 2017 from 2.2% in 2016, according to the revised index.

Based on the old series, annual retail sales growth slightly escalated from 0.8% in 2016, the lowest annual rise ever, to 1% in 2017.

Turkey’s economic confidence index declined by 2% m/m to 103 points in February, after jumping by 10% m/m to 104.9 points in January, the highest level registered since August.

Retail confidence declined by 1.5% m/m following the 5.6% m/m rise recorded in January.

Consumer sentiment in Turkey slightly declined by 0.1% m/m to 72.25 on the index in February after jumping by 11% m/m in January to 72.3, the highest level recorded since May last year.

The OECD is forecasting that private final consumption growth in Turkey will decline to 3% in 2017 from 4.1% in 2016.

The big driver behind a six-year high of 11.1% y/y GDP growth in Q3 was final consumption expenditure by resident households, which grew 11.7% from a year earlier. 

However, there has been some doubt expressed by analysts as to the reliability of the official growth figures.