Turkish inflation falls to 20.3pc in December

ANKARA (AFP) – Turkish inflation dropped for the second month in a row, to an annual rate of 20.3 per cent after hitting a 15-year high in October, official statistics showed yesterday.

Thousands of Turks protested in Istanbul last month against crippling inflation as the economy struggled following a currency crisis in August.

The government launched an “all-out fight against inflation” as the lira fell by more than 28 per cent in value against the dollar in 2018.

In October, consumer prices were 25.24 per cent higher than in the same month a year earlier, the highest level since 2003.

That figure eased to 21.62 per cent in November and the level in December was below a Bloomberg forecast of 20.5 per cent though still far above the central bank target of five per cent.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices eased in December by 0.4 per cent, the Turkish statistics office (TUIK) said.

But compared with a year earlier, furnishing and household goods were 31.36 per cent more expensive, while food and non-alcoholic drinks were up by 25.11 per cent, TUIK data showed.

The lira stood at 5.44 against the US dollar after the figures were released, gaining nearly 2.8 per cent in value on the day.

In early January 2018, it took around 3.75 lira to buy one dollar.

Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak has said the fight against inflation will continue through the first three months of 2019, and include cuts on a special consumption tax and value-added tax.

The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) head Rifat Hisarciklioglu urged the private and public sectors to cooperate in the battle against rising prices.

“Neither the public nor the private sector can do this alone. The responsiblity and duty is all of ours,” he said on Wednesday.