Turkey’s inflation climbs to 68.5 percent in March: official data

Customers walk in The Spice Bazaar, Eminonu District in Istanbul on September 6, 2022, as Turkey's economy is suffering its biggest economic crisis in decades ahead of one of the toughest elections of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's rule. - Turkey's official inflation rate barely changed on September 5, in a sign that a year-long crisis that has seen prices soar by 80 percent may finally be starting to ease. The TUIK state statistics agency said that consumer prices rose by 80.2 percent in August from a year earlier. The crisis has seen the ruling party's approval ratings drop to historic lows heading into the next general election due by June 2023. (Photo by Yasin AKGUL / AFP)

Price growth in inflation-plagued Turkey gained pace in March, rising to 68.5 percent year-on-year, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) said on Wednesday.

The increase followed a Sunday municipal election defeat for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s party that many blamed on the out-of-control cost of living.

Last month the cost of education, health, transport and food showed the biggest increases, after inflation reached 67.07 percent in February, TurkStat said.

But ENAG, a group of independent economists, said their own calculations put the year-on-year figure at almost 125 percent.

Pointing to slowing month-on-month inflation in the official data, at 3.16 percent compared February’s 4.53 percent, Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek wrote on X that “monthly inflation decreased in line with our forecast.”

Following a return to orthodox central bank policy, with the key interest rate having been raised to 50 percent, the government has also vowed to control spending to slow activity and inflation.

“All these developments … will anchor inflation expectations and support the disinflation process,” Şimşek said.

“We will do whatever is necessary until we reach our goal of price stability, which is our top priority,” he added.

© Agence France-Presse

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