Turkish factory activity grew only slightly in April amid a renewed wave of COVID-19 infections, a survey showed on Monday, as output and new orders decreased.
The headline index reading fell to 50.4 in April from 52.6 a month earlier, data from the Istanbul Chamber of Industry and IHS Markit showed, staying above the 50.0 mark that denotes growth.
Output and new orders moderated in April, with respondents often linking this to a resurgence of the COVID-19 outbreak, but new business from abroad rose amid signs of improving international demand.
Factories continued to expand staffing levels, it said, which enabled businesses to work through outstanding orders, with backlogs falling to the greatest extent since May 2020.
Input costs rose sharply due to the Turkish lira’s weakness, higher material prices and supply shortages which in turn caused lengthening of vendor delivery times, the panel also said.
“Output and new orders softened as customers held off on committing to projects. There were some positive signs, however, as both new export orders and employment continued to rise,” said Andrew Harker, Economics Director at IHS Markit.
“Performance in the months to come will likely depend on how quickly infections come down, helping the sector to operate in a more normal environment.”