Inflation rate in Turkey increases to 68.5 percent in March


(MENAFN) Official data released on Wednesday revealed that Turkey's annual inflation rate surged to 68.5 percent in March, a figure marginally lower than anticipated by analysts. The Turkish Statistical Institute reported that on a monthly basis, inflation stood at 3.16 percent, marking a decline from 4.53 percent in February and 6.7 percent in January. This decrease was primarily attributed to a reduction in the impact of salary adjustments and the moderation of price hikes observed earlier in the year.

Expectations for March's inflation were slightly higher, with a Reuters poll forecasting an annual increase to 69.1 percent and a monthly rise of 3.5 percent. However, projections suggest a downward trajectory for the annual rate, anticipated to reach 43.75 percent by the end of 2024.

The Turkish central bank, amid a robust monetary tightening cycle initiated since June, surprised analysts by implementing a further 500 basis points increase in its benchmark interest rate last month. This decision was attributed to concerns regarding deteriorating inflation expectations.

Following the release of the inflation data, Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek expressed confidence that recent monetary and fiscal tightening measures would contribute to stabilizing inflation expectations and facilitating a slowdown in inflation. He reiterated the government's commitment to prioritizing price stability and pledged to undertake necessary measures to achieve this goal, emphasizing its significance via social media platforms.

Meanwhile, independent economists affiliated with the Inflation Research Group estimated that the inflation rate soared to 124.63 percent over the past 12 months, with prices witnessing a 5.68 percent increase during the month of March. These figures underscore the magnitude of Turkey's inflationary challenges, prompting continued vigilance and proactive policy responses to address economic instability and ensure sustainable growth.

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