FORGIVE a maker of washing machines a fondness for spin. Hakan Bulgurlu, who manages Arcelik, the biggest producer and seller of white goods in Turkey, claims a “strong mood” has returned to his domestic market. Sales there leapt by 35% in the first quarter compared with the same time last year. His forecast is upbeat. “Turkey is more resilient than it looks from the outside,” he says, citing cheery reports from dealers who run his 3,000 own-brand shops.
Reality is less whiter than white. Many investors and traders remain spooked by political dramas, a coup plot last year and by an authoritarian president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The IMF gave warning in February that low business profits, a lack of credit and political uncertainty all bode ill for Turkey’s economy. A splurge of public spending and stimulus measures—a special tax on appliances has been suspended for a few months—have brought forward sales of appliances to before the usual, summer, shopping season….Continue reading