Turkey's industrial production in December has not just beaten the market consensus forecast, it also outperformed the European Union countries – like it did in November.
Viewed as a precursor to growth figures, the output in the EU-27 plunged by 3.9% year-on-year in December, the official data showed, while that of Turkey climbed 8.6% year-on-year in the same month, exceeding forecasts in a fourth consecutive rise as the economy gathers pace.
The output in the bloc has been on a downward trend since April 2019.
The eurozone manufacturing output plunged more than expected in December ending a weak quarter for the single currency area, according to EU statistics agency Eurostat. Year-on-year, output fell 4.1% – much more than market forecasts of a 2.3% drop.
Industrial production fell 2.1% month-on-month in the 19 countries sharing the euro, the data showed.
The negative monthly reading followed a 0.9% drop in October and a stalled production in November, which was revised down from the previously estimated 0.2% rise, as eurozone manufacturers were battered by global trade tensions.
Production in December fell significantly in all major economies in the bloc, pointing to a possible downward revision of gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the last quarter.
At the end of January, before the output data was known, Eurostat estimated the eurozone grew 0.1% in the last quarter.
Among the main industrial groups, the production of capital goods fell the most, down 6.7% year-on-year in December.
It was followed by intermediate goods (5.5%), energy (2.3%) and durable consumer goods (1.4%), while the production of non-durable consumer goods rose 1.3%.
The EU's industrial output in 2019 slipped 1.1% compared with the previous year, while that of the eurozone was also down 1.7%.
Among the EU countries, Malta saw the highest positive rise in output, up 7.6% year-on-year in December. Among others were Portugal with 3.9%, Poland with 1.3%, Slovenia with 1%, Finland with 0.6% and Spain with 0.1% year-on-year increase.
On the other hand, Estonia and Romania saw the highest drop with 9.9% and an 8.9% decline in the last month of 2019.
Locomotive countries fail
The wheels of the German industry, seen as a locomotive of the European economy, failed to show the desired performance. The negative reading of the country's industrial output throughout 2019 ended with a 7.2% year-on-year drop in December.
France's output, however, followed a fluctuating trend last year, while it plunged 3.2% in December compared with the same month of the previous year.
Italy was down by 4.3% in the same period. Having posted an increase in September and October only, the industrial production of the Netherlands ended with a 1.7% rise year-on-year in December.
The U.K., which formally left the EU on Jan. 31, 2020, after 47 years of membership and more than three years after Britons voted to leave in a referendum, witnessed a drop in its industrial output since April of last year. Its output in December was down 2.2% year-on-year. The country will remain in a transition period with the EU until Dec. 31 this year.
The output in Turkey has been expanding since September after contracting annually for 12 straight months. Month-on-month, industrial production was up 1.9% in December on a calendar and seasonally adjusted basis, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat).
In the month, all the three main sub-indices – mining and quarrying, manufacturing and electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning – rose by 9.8%, 9.1% and 0.3%, respectively.
The output also saw an increase of 5.8% year-on-year in the last quarter of 2019.
Turkey's economy grew 0.9% year-on-year between July and September, according to TurkStat data. Compared with the second quarter, it expanded by a seasonally and calendar-adjusted 0.4%, its third positive quarter-on-quarter in a row.
In the first two quarters, the economy contracted 2.3% and 1.6%, respectively, on an annual basis. In 2018, the economy posted an annual growth rate of 2.8%, narrowing in the last quarter.
The common market expectation for the fourth quarter estimates ranges from 4.5% to 5%. While the government forecasts a 0.5% annual growth for the whole of 2019, its New Economic Program (NEP), announced in September last year, targets a 5% annual growth rate for 2020, 2021 and 2022.
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