Economy Turkish factory activity shrinks for first time since 2020 By Reuters January 8, 2023 REUTERS President Tayyip Erdogan's economic programme prioritises growth and exports Turkey’s industrial production index is expected to have shrunk year-on-year for the first time since 2020 in November, a Reuters poll showed on Friday, as a slowdown in some of Turkey’s main trade partners hit factory activity. Industrial activity had bounced back strongly after the initial coronavirus wave in April 2020 and has been expanding for more than two years straight since then. But annual growth has slowed significantly since the summer, with demand declining due to the wider global slowdown. The median estimate in the Reuters poll of six institutions showed a year-on-year contraction of 0.95 percent in the calendar-adjusted industrial production index TRIP-ECI in November. Three economists expected the index, seen as a preliminary indicator of growth, to expand up to one percent while the other three expected a contraction of up to 2.8 percent. President Tayyip Erdogan’s economic programme prioritises growth, exports, investments and employment while cutting interest rates. The central bank cut its policy rate by 500 basis points last year, lowering it to 9% after Erdogan called for a single- digit rate by year-end. The bank justified the cuts by saying financial conditions must remain supportive to maintain the growth in industrial production. The index expanded 0.5 percent in September and 2.5 percent in October, indicating the impact of declining demand due to the global economic slowdown. The Turkish Statistical Institute will announce November industrial production figures at 0700 GMT on January 10.