Turkey's annual inflation jumped more than expected to 54.44% in February, according to data on March 3, a two decade high fuelled by a crash in the lira currency late last year and higher commodity prices.
Month-on-month, consumer prices rose 4.81%, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) said, compared to a Reuters poll forecast of 3.8% and an annual forecast of 53%.
The producer price index soared 7.22% month-on-month in February for an annual rise of 105%, in a reflection of the rise in commodity prices amid Russia-Ukraine tensions.
According to unofficial data from the ENAG Inflation Research Group, an independent institution set up in 2020 to track the country’s inflation, Turkey’s annual consumer price inflation rate was 123.80% in February, far higher than official claims. ENAG also said that prices in Turkey increased by 5.44% percent month-on-month in February.
ENAGrup Tüketici Fiyat Fiyat Endeksi (E-TÜFE) Şubat ayında %5.44 arttı.— ENAG (@ENAGRUP) March 3, 2022
E-TÜFE’nin son 12 aylık artışı ise %123.80 olarak gerçekleşti.
That’s bad news for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s re-election bid next year as a cost-of-living crisis drains some support. Earlier this week, Erdoğan said that inflation “will be under control” by the summer.
The lira shed 44% of its value last year as the central bank slashed interest rates by 500 basis points, under a drive by Erdoğan to prioritize credit and exports despite the double-digit price rises.