ERMCO ve THBB Yönetim Kurulu Başkanı
President of ERMCO and THBB
İlhami Yumak, one of the Former Presidents of our Association, passed away last month. I commemorate Mr. İlhami Yumak, the very first one of those who labored substantially for the development of our Association, wishing God’s grace and compassion, and I also wish condolences and patience to his family, his loved ones, and our community.
2019 became a difficult year for Turkey’s economy. When we evaluate the indicators regarding the initial nine months of 2019, we can say the concrete sector and, in general, the construction sector did not have a good year. While there was some mobility in the construction sector in October and November, it appears that it was far from the desired level. The loss of employment of the construction sector in the last one year exceeded 500 thousand. There is no other sector where a loss of employment with such magnitude is experienced.
According to the recently-disclosed growth figures, our country grew by 9,0% in the last quarter of 2019. When examined on sector basis, a significant negativity, particularly in the construction sector, becomes apparent. With a shrinkage of 9,3% on average in the initial nine months of 2019, the construction sector performed below other sectors. The new national income series made public by TÜİK traces back to 1999. When we view the values of those 21 years in aggregate, the construction sector that shrank for seven quarters consecutively in the 2008 global crisis period has also been contracting for five quarters since mid 2018. Accordingly, businesses of the numerous manufacturing sectors that provide input in the construction sector did not change for the better.
The construction sector gained momentum with the impact of mortgage sales that moved upstream as of August. While the positive expectations in the construction sector increased following the resolutions of the Central Bank regarding interests, the confidence of the actors of the sector continue to remain below what is necessary. It is expected that the public banks’ revision of the zero housing loan interest to %0,79 as of the beginning of 2020 will create a positive impact on the construction market during the subsequent period. While there is no doubt that 2020 will be better for the construction sector, the suitable conditions that the actors of the construction sector will steer themselves toward new employment and investments have not appeared yet.
All kinds of steps to be taken for the improvement of the construction sector as well as all kinds of precautions to be put into practice are important. We believe that the construction sector must be reanimated particularly for our country to attain its targeted growth rate and the position it wishes to obtain in terms of fight against unemployment in 2020.