Turkey Macro: 2Q16 GDP Growth Preview

Turkey’s growth has been remarkable resilient recently. While some of the biggest developing has entered recession, and some other has just muddled along, Turkey has managed to sustain economic growth along with its Asia peers amid rising concerns around emerging markets.

Turkey, despite some setbacks, grew 4.8% y/y in 1Q 2016, beating our estimates by 40 basis points. The economy was faster largely due to private consumption and lacked the contribution from private investment, which, however, could have been a sign of strength for the economy in the upcoming quarters. That said, domestic demand coming out stronger than expected could be attributed to the minimum wage hike and Syrian migrants’ consumption.

Regarding the growth Turkey had a second quarter will full of ups and downs as evidenced by macro data (see the charts below) which, in our view, did not provide much cause for comfort. Particularly, the economy seemed to be strong during May while it posted weaker reading for April and May. We believe that 2Q was another round of weak private investments but this likely to be offset by other components of the growth to some extent. We estimate that Turkey will post a 3.4% y/y real GDP growth in 2Q report which is scheduled to be announced on September 9, 2016.

Turkey - Industrial Production - June 2016

Turkey - Capacity Utilization - June 2016

Turkey - Real Sector Confidence - June 2016

Turkey - Consumer Confidence Retail Sales - June 2016

For the remainder of this year, we expect Turkey’s growth continue to decelerate but is very likely to outperform its EMEA peers. On a separate positive note, the domestic political environment has recently been more stable in the aftermath of failed coup attempt. Also, there are some positive signs of greater social cohesion between different segments of society which may re-build confidence. This would pose upside risks to growth trajectory.

Confidence Indicators Signal A Tragedy

After the shocking interest rate hike by Turkish Central Bank that made many people mesmerized late at night, we have seen how Turkish Lira has turned into a hit and run for traders as it reached at 2.31 per dollar after breaking below 2.17. The decision was interpreted as that Turkish Central bank regains the credibility that it lost (last week). Well, taking a look at the exchange rates, it seems like credibility is lost again but may be gained back again by tomorrow. In my humble opinion, what matters is to simplify the policy that is actually done.

Yesterday, I noted that CBT sees possibility of serious slowdown. After blowing the rates everyone does so. Here is another post that highlights the damage on economy upon some economic data points. Even worse, all confidence indicators we have for Turkish economy are slumping dramatically.

Turkey Business Confidence Index

Turkey Business Confidence Index2

The first chart above demonstrates that how Capacity Utilization Ratio, Real Sector Confidence Index and Consumer Confidence Index have been sliding for the last two months. More is the pity we have had consumer data since January 2012. For this reason I generated the second chart only showing CUR and RSCI starting Jan 2007.

Excepting the slight increase in CUR on last November, these two indicators have been losing momentum in four consecutive month. Wondering what happened the last time these two indicators did the same pattern? We had the similar performance between June and October in 2008 that was followed by negative growth period lasting for four quarters. Certainly global conditions built a positive case for Turkey neither in 2008 nor today.