Turkey’s inflation hits a 19-year high of 36%

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Official figures show Turkey’s annual inflation climbed at the fastest pace in 19 years, reaching 36.08% in December.

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ANKARA, Turkey – Turkey’s annual inflation climbed at the fastest pace in 19 years to 36.08% in December, official data showed on Monday.

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The annual inflation rate was the highest since September 2002.

Inflation is rising in the country, while the Turkish lira – under pressure from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan – fell to a record low after cutting a key interest rate by 5 percentage points in September.

Last month, Erdogan announced measures to protect lira deposits against volatility after the Turkish currency hit an all-time low of 18.36 against the dollar. The lira made a comeback after the announcement but have since lost some of those gains. Last year, the lira was down about 44% against the dollar.

Erdogan insists on lowering borrowing costs to spur growth, although economists argue that higher interest rates are a way to control rising prices.

Meanwhile, the Independent Inflation Research Group, made up of academics and former government officials, put the annual inflation rate at a very high 83%. It said consumer prices increased by 19.35% in December compared to November.

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