Turkey’s annual inflation rises to 19.71 pct in March

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Turkey's inflation police visits supermarkets to check the prices regularly. PHOTO: Bloomberg

Turkey’s annual consumer price inflation rose to 19.71 percent in March, official data showed on Wednesday, slightly exceeding poll forecasts as food prices jumped despite unorthodox government efforts to bring them down, Reuters reported.

Investors are increasingly concerned about inflation, which peaked at a 15-year high above 25 percent in October as Turkey weathered a currency crisis that wiped nearly 30 percent off the value of the lira last year.

The central bank has left its policy rate at 24 percent since September, when it was hiked 6.25 percentage points. In an attempt to stabilize the Turkish lira amid a selloff in recent weeks, the central bank has turned to a series of back-door tightening measures including keeping repo auctions closed.

Year-on-year, consumer prices had been forecast to rise to 19.57 percent in a Reuters poll of 16 economists, compared with 19.67 percent in February.

A decline in inflation since October stalled in January. On a monthly basis, prices rose slightly in March.

Inflation had declined slightly in February thanks to a dip in food prices that were driven lower by government-run stalls selling cheaper fruits and vegetables.

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