Turkish consumer confidence rebounds
ISTANBUL: Turkish consumer confidence rebounded to a 19month high in November, official data showed yesterday, after an election restored the AK Party’s single-party rule and eased political uncertainty which had unnerved investors for months.
The index jumped to 77.15 from 62.78 in October, the Turkish Statistics Institute said, hitting its highest level since April 2014. It still shows a pessimistic outlook, however, with only a level above 100 indicating optimism. In September, the index hit a 6-1/2 year low on concerns that the Nov. 1 vote would lead to a coalition government, prolonging uncertainty after an inconclusive June election. But the AKP won nearly 50 percent, giving it a strong mandate to push ahead with its reform agenda.
Investor attention has now turned to the make-up of a new cabinet, expected to be unveiled at the start of next week, with some concerned about the prospect of President Tayyip Erdogan meddling in economic and monetary policy.
Erdogan has repeatedly called for lower interest rates to boost investment and economic growth, which at around 3 percent is well below the levels sought to cut rising unemployment. Yesterday’s data showed there was a particularly sharp rise in the index of expectations for the general economic situation, up nearly 31 percent from October to 105.9 in November. — Reuters