Turkish industrial output jumps 4.4 percent in February

Turkish industrial output jumps 4.4 percent in February

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkish industrial output jumps 4.4 percent in February

An unidentified employee is seen working at a chemical dye plant in the Aegean province of İzmir in this file photo. Chemicals was one of the strongest industrial sectors in February, along with textile and vehicles, according to figures released by TÜİK. Hürriyet photo

Turkey’s industrial production index for February was up 4.4 percent over the same period a year earlier, but dropped by 1.4 percent compared with the previous month, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) said yesterday.

Calendar- and seasonally adjusted industrial production increased 1.6 percent compared to the same month in 2011, and seasonally and calendar-adjusted industrial production registered a monthly increase of 0.7 percent, according to a report the TÜİK released yesterday.

February’s industrial production index surpassed expectations due to the high base effect and a higher number of working days in February. “The normalization of economic activity continues, and an adverse base effect has a role in this process,” said Özgür Altuğ, BCG Partners’ chief economist, in a note to investors.

Leading sectors

Production in exports-based sectors, such as textile, garments, chemicals, plastics and vehicles, posted double-digit growth in both January and February on yearly basis, Altuğ noted.

January production was up 1.5 percent over January 2011, registering the lowest increase in the last two years. However, calendar- and seasonally adjusted industrial production in January dropped sharply by 3 percent compared with December 2011.

A Reuters survey estimate for February’s industrial production index was 3.5 percent.

The energy industry registered the highest annual increase among the main industrial sectors, with 11.4 percent in February. Capital goods manufacturing followed the energy industry with a 6.5 percent increase. Among industrial sub-sectors, the mining sector index increased 6.9 percent, the manufacturing sector index was up 3.2 percent, and the electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply index jumped 12.5 percent.

ING chief economist Ömer Zeybek said in his report yesterday that February figures confirmed that the Turkish economy is experiencing a “soft landing.”

February data showed the exceptionally sharp slowdown of January is not here to stay, Ekspres chief economist Nilüfer Sezgin said, echoing Zeybek, and added that economic activity is still slow.

“February’s industrial production data proves that despite all the adverse conditions in the world, positive developments in Turkey continue,” the Anatolia news agency quoted Industry Minister Nihat Ergün as saying. The industrial production index registered the highest February reading since 2005, he said. “The industrial sector has contributed to the growth of all sectors, surpassing the overall growth rate.”

The March data was important in providing more clues regarding the “soft landing” trend in the Turkish economy, said Tanıl Küçük, according to the Anatolia news agency. “It seems as though the Turkish economy is experiencing a soft landing, rather than a sharp slowdown.”