Turkey’s inflation at 61% in March, beating estimates

Annual inflation in Turkey hit 61.14% in March, the country’s statistical authority said on Monday, hitting a new 20-year high.

The figure was 54.4% in the previous month and 16.19% in March 2021, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat).

The largest annual increase in prices last month was registered in transportation with 99.12%, followed by food and non-alcoholic beverages with 70.33% and furniture and household goods with 69.26%.

The lowest annual increases were recorded by communication with 15.08%, education with 26.73% and clothing and footwear with 26.95%.

The price increase is part of an economic crisis exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has seen prices for gas, oil and grain rise.

Turkey’s runaway inflation also follows a series of interest rate cuts late last year.

The central bank cut rates by 5 percentage points between September and December, but they have remained unchanged at 14% this year.

The lira, which lost 44% of its value against the US dollar last year, fell to a record low of 18.41 against the dollar in December before the government unveiled a currency protection scheme to boost assets. nationals.

In an effort to soften the blow to households, the government has also implemented tax cuts on basic goods and adjusted electricity rates.

The monthly inflation rate was 5.46% in March, compared to 4.81% in February.

The highest monthly increase was 13.29% in transportation among the main groups, while clothing and footwear registered the lowest inflation at 1.78%, according to TurkStat.

A group of 15 economists projected an average annual increase of 60.95% in consumer prices in March, according to an Anadolu Agency (AA) survey last week.

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