Turkey’s inflation hits 54.44%, highest in 20 yrs

Turkey’s annual inflation rose by 54.44 per cent in February, the highest since 2002, the country’s Statistical Institute announced.

The country’s consumer prices soared 4.81 per cent month on month in February, according to the Institute’s data.

Meanwhile, the producer price index increased by 7.22 per cent on a monthly basis, with an annual rise of 105.01 per cent, Xinhua news agency reported citing the data.

In February, the highest annual price increase was in transport with 75.75 per cent, followed by furnishings and household equipment with 64.83 per cent and food and non-alcoholic beverage with 64.47 per cent.

The country’s annual inflation rate was 48.69 per cent in January.

Turkey has been struggling with elevated inflation, which puts pressure on its population with rising living costs.

Economists have predicted that the country is likely to live with high inflation throughout 2022.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced in December last year a record 50 per cent rise in the minimum wage to help offset surging living costs amid high inflation and a currency slump.

In February, the government reduced the value-added tax (VAT) on basic food products from 8 per cent to 1 per cent.

The central bank kept the benchmark interest rate unchanged since January, halting an easing cycle that sparked a currency slump in the latter half of 2021.

The Turkish currency lira has lost roughly 60 per cent of its value since 2021.

Erdogan is an advocate of low-interest rates, insisting that the move will lift the burden on investments despite the rising inflation.

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