Turkey’s annual inflation soars to 78.6%, a 24-year high
Annual inflation in Turkey jumped to a 78.6% in June, a 24 year high since 1998, official data showed on Monday.
The Turkish Statistical Institute, or TurkStat, released the monthly figures that has continuously grown since last autumn leaving the masses with ever increasing living costs. Consumer prices rose by 4.95% on a monthly basis, the institute reported.
Although many countries saw rising price tags in the past months, Turkey climbed on top with the highest inflation rate in Q1 and currently has the sixth place after Lebanon, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Venezuela and Syria, data from trading economics web site shows.
Critics blame President Erdogan’s low-interest-rate economic policy for adding fuel to price hikes triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Especially gas, oil and grain prices worsened the situation in the import-reliant country.
The sharpest increases in annual prices were in the transportation sector, at 123.37%, followed by food and non-alcoholic drinks prices at 93.93%, according to official data.
Some economists question TurkStat’s official figures alleging the agency is under political pressure. The head of the government body was dismissed in January and several other senior officials have since resigned, including the manager of the department that calculated the inflation rate, Sözcü newspaper reported last month.
A group of independent economists called The Inflation Research Group on Monday announced that Turkey’s true level of annual inflation for June was 175.55%.
Main opposition CHP (Republican People's Party) leader Kemal Kılıcdaroglu denounced TurkStat for deceiving the nation and called on its top bureaucrats to “stop breaking the law to favor Erdogan, you will be liable for that.”
"You are steering the nation to hunger by obscuring the data." said Arzu Cerkezoglu, President of DISK, The Trade Unions Confederation of Turkey, in a press statement she made in front of TurkStat’s building, Birgun reported.
Economist Ozcan Kadıoglu from Good Party compared Turkey’s price hikes to Tanzania saying the yearly inflation in Tanzania is lower than Turkey’s monthly inflation.
Prof. Hayri Kozanoglu from Birgun newspaper also slammed the government on steep prices and said that the inflation rate left the consumers with unresolved economic problems.
Turkey’s runaway inflation echoed in international media as well.
Bloomberg said that no anchor was left as “one of the world’s worst inflation crises closed in further and government efforts to help the population cope with the fallout only threaten to make it worse.”
CNBC saw no hope for improvement in the near future because of the war in Ukraine, high energy and food prices, and a sharply depreciated lira.