Turks are spending significantly less money on their bank cards and credit cards, confounding an assessment by a central bank official that economic activity remained robust, Diken news website reported.
Expenditure fell by a weekly 31 percent to 13.5 billion liras in the week ending March 27, Diken said, citing central bank data.
Expenditure at supermarkets declined to 4 billion liras from 5.3 billion liras the previous week, Diken said, as panic-buying of food and household goods eased.
Central Bank Deputy Governor Oğuzhan Özbaş said on Sunday that there was no notable sign of a decline in consumption, aside from spending on travel, adding that the economy remained resilient.
“With the pace of the outbreak slowing, we will see the Turkish economy recover rapidly,” Özbaş said. “With its dynamic structure, the Turkish economy will be one of those that emerges from this period more quickly and with relatively less damage.”
Turkey’s exports slid by an annual 18 percent in March, reflecting the impact of the spread of the coronavirus on key sectors of the economy, Trade Ministry data published on Thursday showed.
Exports dropped to $13.4 billion, led by a slump in motor vehicle sales, according to the preliminary figures.
Many Turks are staying at home and some large factories are halting production as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19 and as demand at home and abroad declines.
Cases of the coronavirus in Turkey are climbing sharply, resembling trends seen in Italy and Spain only a few weeks ago. Infections rose by 2,456 to 18,135 on Thursday as the authorities tested 18,757 people, bringing total tests to 125,566, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said. Deaths increased by 79 to 356, he said.