Turkish inflation tops 15 per cent in almost 15 years

ANKARA: Inflation in Turkey surged to over 15 per cent in June for the first time in almost one-and-a-half decades, official statistics showed on Tuesday, putting new pressure on the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to quell rising prices.
Consumer prices rose 15.39 per cent in June from the same period the year earlier, sharply up on the 12.15 per cent reading in May, according to the Turkish statistics office.
The highest annual rise in the month was seen in transport services, up 24.26 per cent, and in prices of furnishings and household appliances, up 18.91 per cent.
Also among the chief drivers of the rise were sharp hikes in the prices of basic foodstuffs like onions, potatoes and carrots.
Battling inflation will be a key issue for Erdogan’s new administration after he won presidential and parliamentary elections in the first round on June 24 with new enhanced powers as head of state. The last time inflation in Turkey topped 15 per cent was in late 2003, a year after Erdogan’s ruling party first came to power and when the country was emerging from financial crisis.
The data makes a mockery of the central bank’s inflation target of 5 per cent and even its 2018 forecast of 8.4 per cent. The data added to pressure on the Turkish lira, which has lost over 23 per cent in value against the dollar this year. — AFP