İstanbul’s inflation rate hits 19-year high of 51 percent

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Retail prices in Turkey’s largest city and commercial hub of İstanbul were 13.78 percent month-on-month in January, for an annual rate of 50.91 percent, the city’s highest inflation since 2002, the TR724 news website reported on Tuesday, citing data from the İstanbul Chamber of Commerce (İTO).

The İTO’s İstanbul Wage Earners Cost of Living Index was 13.78 percent month-on-month in January, with an annual rate of 50.91 percent over the same period last year.

The wholesale price index skyrocketed 53.96 percent year-on-year in January, with a monthly increase of 6.03 percent, according the İTO statement.

“The month-on-month increase in retail prices in January 2022 was 26.69 percent in transportation and communications, 21.51 percent in health and personal care, 17.19 percent in housing, 13.81 percent in food, 10.24 in household goods, 6.87 percent in others and 5.28 percent in culture, education and entertainment, while clothing declined by 0.39 percent,” the statement said.

Wholesale prices in İstanbul, which is home to some 16 million, rose in January by 20.43 percent in fuel and energy, 9.82 percent in food, 7.22 percent in construction materials and 2.15 percent in textiles and declined by 6.53 percent in unfinished goods and 0.04 percent in chemical products on a month-on-month basis.

The high inflation figures for Turkey’s biggest city do not bode well for Turkey’s overall inflation, which surged to 36.1 percent, the highest level since 2002, in December, in the wake of a currency crisis sparked by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s unconventional economic policies.

Consumer prices rose by 13.6 percent in December from their levels the preceding month, reflecting a steady deterioration in Turks’ purchasing power which has further hurt Erdoğan’s dropping approval rating.

The Turkish lira lost 44 percent of its value against the dollar last year, with the losses accelerating at the end of the year, when Erdoğan orchestrated a series of sharp interest rate reductions.

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