Turkish inflation rate holds near 61 percent

Turkish inflation rate holds near 61 percent

Turkey’s annual inflation rate held steady near 61 percent last month, official data showed Friday, highlighting government efforts to ease a historic cost of living crisis.

The rate inched down to 61.36 percent in October from 61.53 percent in September, the TUIK state statistics agency said.

The pace of month-on-month increases also slowed to 3.43 percent from 4.75 percent.

Central bank chief Hafize Gaye Erkan said Thursday that the rate will likely peak between 70 and 75 percent next May.

She expects inflation to reach 65 percent by the end of the year and drop to 36 percent by the end of 2024.

Turkey is suffering the worst bout of inflation of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s two-decade rule. The official annual inflation rate peaked at 85 percent in October last year and climbed back up above 60 percent in September.

After winning a May election, Erdogan appointed a new team of market-friendly economists that was given the freedom to sharply hike its policy setting rate.

Analysts blame Erdogan for provoking the crisis by forcing the nominally independent central bank to slash borrowing costs far below the rate at which prices were rising.

Erdogan had been a longtime supporter of the unorthodox theory that the high interest rates cause — rather than cure — consumer price spikes.

Erkan has lifted the bank’s policy rate to 35 percent from 8.5 percent since the May vote.

Most analysts expect her to raise rates to 40 percent or higher in the coming months.


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