The Strategist

Inflation in Turkey reaches 15-year high in September

10/03/2018 - 14:58

Consumer prices in Turkey grew by 24.52% in annual terms in September, according to data from the Turkish Institute of Statistics. Analysts polled by Bloomberg, on average, predicted a price increase of 21.1%.

Public Domain Pictures
Public Domain Pictures
Compared with August, consumer prices rose by 6.3%, the highest rates since April 2001. Analysts forecasted a growth rate of 3.4%.

Inflation in Turkey accelerated against the backdrop of the falling Lira. Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak blamed speculators for this and said that inflation would stop accelerating in October.

In September, food prices jumped 27.7% yoy, after rising 19.8% in August. Rising energy prices accelerated from 21.3% to 27.03%. Manufacturing prices rose 46.15% after climbing up by 32.13%.

Core inflation, which does not take into account the volatile prices of food, energy and gold, accelerated from 17.2% to 24.05%. Analysts expected it to accelerate only to 19.3%. Prices for clothes accelerated from 13.6% to 17.16% in September.

On September 13, the Central Bank of Turkey raised its weekly repo rate by 6.25 percentage points to 24%.

After the last rate hike, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that his patience with interest rates is not unlimited. Such comments undermined confidence in independence of the central bank and provoked sale of the Turkish currency.

Inflation data put the Turkish central bank in a difficult position. Inflation is accelerating, despite tightening of monetary policy.

With the economy slowing down, the regulator has few opportunities to counteract further price increases. Given that the Lira has fallen by 40% against the dollar since the beginning of the year, the worst could be yet to come.

According to the Minister of Finance, Turkey will announce measures to be taken to combat inflation in the next week.