Turkey’s March inflation rose 1.19 percent month-on-month, pushing the annual rate of inflation up to 7.61 percent, according to data from TurkStat. Economists predicted that the consumer price index would rise 0.86 percent month-on-month and reach 7.26 percent annually, lower than actual figures.
According to analysts, higher than expected inflation data was triggered by food prices. The monthly rise in food and nonalcoholic beverages was 2.47 percent, marking the highest increase among all other segments.
Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek blamed food prices for the increase and noted that a decline in core inflation reached its lowest levels since Dec. 2013. Core inflation strips out food and energy prices. Şimşek suggested that the central bank could take the lower core figure into consideration when deciding to ease monetary policy.
Central bank Governor Erdem Başçı said in January that he expected inflation to fall to 5.5 percent. As commodity prices decline further, analysts expect a fall in the consumer prices this year. Brent crude fell about 50 percent over the past year to below $55 per barrel as of yesterday.