THE GRAPH SAYS: “Prices are increasing as foreign exchange rates increase”

Monthly price increases continued in September 2020…

Turkish Statistical Institute released domestic producer and consumer prices inflation figures of September. Domestic producer price index (D-PPI) increased by 2.65% compared to the previous month while consumer price index (CPI) increased by %0,97 m/m. USDTRY gained momentum by 3.51% in the same period.

In the graph above comprising the 2018-2020 period, the left axis shows monthly changes of both D-PPI and CPI while right axis the course in USDTRY.

If you pay attention to the graph above;

. The rise in the USDTRY (green line) has been increasing the costs of the producers (blue bars), and producers are able to reflect the cost burden to the output prices (red bars) to a lower extent.

. In the periods of decreasing or stable USDTRY, costs of the producers have been diminishing but output prices continue to increase.

What affects price increases?

The graph above proves that depreciation in Turkish lira (TRY) increases the input costs, and such increases are reflected to the output prices.

So, is the depreciation in TL the only reason for the increases in output prices?

Of course not. Let me explain in an example:

Why did the consumer prices continue to increase while producer prices have been decreasing in July-August 2020? The reasons are the government’s price and tax hikes following general elections on June 23rd, 2019.

What can be expected on the inflation front in the long view?

It totally depends on uncertainties: Kovid-19, US elections, the course of TRY, budget originated price changes (tax and price hikes), geopolitical developments, actions from the Central Bank, early election risk. The list can be extended. In short, everything depends on the confidence environment yet not promising.

Dr. Fulya Gürbüz

Turkish Exporters Assembly: Exports increased by 7.6% m/m in May

According to Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM), exports increased by 7.6% to 9 billion dollars in May compared to the previous month but fell by 42% year-on-year. 12-month rolling total exports fell to 152.4 billion US dollars in May due to the Covid-19 related weakness. Historical peak of 167.2 billion US dollars was recorded in February 2020.

A considerable monthly improvement in exports is not a surprise since manufacturing PMI figures of Turkey’s main exports market, Europe, exposed a slight improvement in May following a solid decline in April.

On a sectoral base, exports of industrial goods increased by 19% to 5.4 billion US dollars in May compared to the previous month. Exports of automotive industrial goods doubled on monthly basis to 1,2 billion US dollars. Besides, exports of clothing and apparel goods increased by 46% to 0,8 billion US dollars. On the other hand, export figures of iron and steel products, which are third largest industrial export goods of Turkey, sustained to decrease for the last four months to 0,8 billion US dollars in May, which is the lowest level since October 2017. As can be seen in the graph below, trade war started by Trump administration in March 2018 continues to have a negative impact on Turkey’s production and exporting of both Motor Vehicles and Spare Parts and Iron and Steel Products apart from Covid-19.

In 2019, Turkey’s top ten export markets are listed from the most to the least as follows: Germany, Italy, USA, Spain, United Kingdom, France, Israel, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq. The graph below shows export performance of Turkey in country basis. Bursting Covid-19 in March 2020 reflected isolation and thus sharp deterioration in production, service, and trade in April. However, manufacturing PMI figures of May showed a slight improvement in economic activity associated with easing in isolation measures. Consequently, this has created a positive impact on Turkey’s exports performance in May.

Since Turkey’s industrial production depends on importing intermediate goods, it will not be a surprise to see an increase in import figures in May. The import figures of May will be released by Turkish Statistical Institute (www.turkstat.gov.tr) at the end of June.

Fulya Gürbüz, Ph.D.