Industrial output in Turkey dropped 2.2 percent in January year-on-year, after rising for three months in a row, the Turkish Statistical Institute said in a statement on Monday.
The decline surprised analysts who had forecast a rise in output.
Leading economists participating in The Anadolu Agency Industrial Output survey anticipated a 1.87 percent increase in January on average.
The mining and quarrying index lead the declines with an 11.5 percent decrease, and the manufacturing index dropped 2.4 percent for the same period.
But the electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply output increased 2.9 percent in January 2015, in contrast to the prevailing trend.
'January industrial output did not give healthy signs for GDP growth. In February, the capacity utilization rate also dropped to 72.8 percent. We foresee a continuation of weak industrial production in the next reading in February,' ALB Securities analyst Enver Erkan said.
'We preserve our 1.5 percent GDP growth forecast for first quarter of 2015 and 2 percent for whole year, because the weak outlook in the Eurozone, the economic crisis in Russia and the crisis in the Middle East affect the Turkish economy adversely. Also weak domestic demand is negative for both industrial production and growth,' Erkan said.
Turkey's industrial output is focal point of interest as GDP growth of country slows to near 3 percent.
The Turkish government aims to reach 4 percent GDP growth and to reduce consumer price inflation to 6.3 percent in 2015, according to the government's national economic plan for development.
However Turkey's GDP growth has slowed since the second quarter of 2014, slipping to 1.7 percent in third quarter of last year, and inflation is still well above 7 percent, significantly higher than the medium term economic program targets.
Pressured for rate cuts from government officials, the central bank maintains a relatively tight monetary policy, citing weaker than expected improvement in the infliation outlook. But the government has repeatedly criticized this policy for limiting growth.
By Fatih Erkan Dogan