Turkey gains scope as European textile hub while entering recession
The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country registered in the fourth quarter of 2018 a fall of 2.4% compared to the previous quarter, falling into technical recession for the first time since 2009.
Turkey consolidates its role in the European fashion sourcing while its economy weakens. The county, which has entered a technical recession, shot up last year its exports of textile and fashion goods to Europe, relying mainly on the devaluation of the local currency. Now, in this new period of recession, everything indicates that the situation will persist.
Turkey’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) registered a 2.4% fall in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to the previous quarter, entering technical recession for the first time since 2009, according to data published yesterday by the Turkish Statistical Institute (Turkstat). In Inter-on-year terms, the country’s GDP recorded a 3% drop.
Despite the setbacks of the Turkish economy in the last two quarters of the year, 2018 as a whole had a positive performance, with an annual increase of 2.6% compared to 2017. However, the rise was well below that registered one year ago, when it stood at 7.4%.
The textile, highly sensitive to production costs, took advantage of such devaluation to increase purchases to the country
For the time being, the Turkish Minister of Finance and Treasury, Berat Albayrak, stressed yesterday the temporary nature of the economic slowdown and explained that the country has started a moderate recovery driven by exports and tourism income. Part of this recovery is based on the devaluation of the local currency executed last year on several occasions by the Turkish Government in order to gain competitiveness in foreign markets.
The textile, highly sensitive to production costs, took advantage of such devaluation to increase purchases to the country. In 2018, the European Union raised by 2% its purchases to the Turkish textile industry, which establishes itself as the third largest hub in the European sector, according to the latest data by Icex.
Turkey was the only proximity sourcing of the European Union which increased its sales to the region last year, when in Italy fell by 2.2%, in Check Republic had a drop by 5.6% in and Portugal plummeted by 10.2%.
In the specific case of Spain, in 2017 Turkey had already overtaken Bangladesh as the second supplier of textiles, clothing, accessories and footwear
In the specific case of Spain, in 2017 Turkey had already overtaken Bangladesh as the second supplier of textiles, clothing, accessories and footwear, and in 2018, it even increased the gap between them. Two years ago, the Spanish market rocketed by 16% its Turkish textile purchases while imports from Bangladesh only grew by 8%.
Also in the case of the fashion industry in Spain, Turkey has distorted the sourcing map of the sector in proximity. Thus, while the Eurasian country has increased its sales of fashion items to the Spanish market at a double digit rate between 2017 and 2018, Portugal’s textile industry has registered drops of 23.5% in 2017 and 13.9% in 2018.
As for Italy, Spanish purchases also shank in the last year, with a decrease of 4.2%, while those of Morocco moderated the growth rate, going from 23.3% in 2016 to 8 % in 2017 and 5.9% in 2018.
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