According to the March 2016 results of the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (ICOC) Turkey Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) regarding performance in the manufacturing industry - the pioneer indication of economic growth - the index decreased to 49.2 percent in March, below the critical threshold value of 50 percent.
The index indicates the first recession in the operating conditions of the manufacturing sector since October 2015. While the new business volume purchased by Turkish manufacturers decreased in March for the first time in five months, the decrease was slight. New export orders in March decreased for the third time in a row.
Evaluating the PMI, Market Senior Economist Trevor Balchin said: "The data indicates a recession in the employment sector and production, orders and exports at the beginning of spring. Many firms suggest weakened demand conditions." Stressing that the March recession was mild and inflationist pressures have decreased, Balchin continued: "The PMI shows that the annual 5.6 percent growth rate in industrial production in January that cleared the calendar effect published by the Turkey Statistics Institute could decrease in the next few months."
While operating conditions recovered in December 2015, February 2016 saw a regaining of the degenerative trend, due to a recession in production, new orders and employment during the first quarter of 2016. The March index exceeded the 2015 average of 48.4 percent, showing the fastest trend in the recession since October 2015.