Turkey economic confidence tumbles the most in a decade, carmaker to halt production

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Confidence in Turkey’s economy marked its biggest ebb in a decade in September with a 15.4 percent tumble, official data showed on Thursday, reinforcing concerns about a sharp slowdown as the country combats a currency crisis.

In another sign of the economic headwinds, major carmaker Tofas said it will halt output at its plant in northwest Turkey for nine days in October due to a contraction in the local market, sending its shares 5 percent lower.

According to data from the Turkish Statistical Institute, the economic confidence index dropped to 71.0 points in September from 83.9 points a month earlier, marking its biggest drop since late 2008 and its lowest level since March 2009.

The index indicates an optimistic economic outlook when above 100 and a pessimistic one when below 100.

Turkey slashed its growth forecasts for this year and next last week, but failed to mollify investors who wanted a more sober assessment of the fragile economy and a sweeping plan to help banks.

The lira currency has plunged by 40 percent this year on concerns about President Tayyip Erdogan’s influence over monetary policy and a rift with the United States.

ISTANBUL (Reuters)

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