Turkish Inflation Rises to 25% Pressuring Central Bank

Consumer price growth has hit a whopping 25 percent in Turkey, but the real challenge lies in the central bank not bowing to pressure to lower interest rates “prematurely” as the inflation rate starts to fall, analysts have said.

Turkey saw a stronger-than-expected rise in inflation in October, with prices rising 25.2 percent year-on-year, marking the highest inflation rate in 15 years. Core inflation, which strips out volatile factors like energy and food prices, was similarly high. The headline rate is now far above the central bank’s target of 5 percent.

Inflation has largely been driven by the country’s “currency crisis” with the lira falling 30 percent against the dollar year-to-date. It had suffered a deeper rout in August when it was down 45 percent against the greenback, but has since recovered some ground. Currency depreciation has been a key factor behind Turkey’s inflationary pressures but other issues, including concerns over the central bank’s independence and a diplomatic crisis with the U.S., fueled those losses.

Traditionally central banks have raised interest rates to tackle inflation but Turkey’s bank is under pressure, notably from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to lower interest rates in order to stimulate spending, lending and economic growth. It defied the president by tightening its monetary policy stance in September, however, raising its benchmark one-week repo rate (its main policy rate) to 24 percent, and maintaining that rate in October.

via CNBC

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza