Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

Turkey sets new inflation record, close to 50%, in January 2022

Written by Frédéric Dubessy on Thursday, February 3rd 2022 à 16:45 | Read 346 times

Inflation continues to rise in Turkey (graph: TUIK)
Inflation continues to rise in Turkey (graph: TUIK)
TURKEY. The Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜIK) said on Thursday 3 February 2022 that the inflation rate had reached 48.69% over one year in January 2022. Its highest level since April 2002.

Over twelve months, in January 2022, the rise in consumer prices was 22.58%. Just a month ago, the same organisation reported a year-on-year consumer price increase of 36.08%, which was seven times higher than the Turkish government's forecast.

These figures are contested by the opposition, for whom the TÜIK underestimates the extent of the damage by half. Independent Turkish economists have claimed that inflation exceeded 110% in January 2022.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan still does not intend to change his policy. By refusing to raise interest rates, precisely for fear that they would cause inflation, and even by asking the central bank to lower them, the Turkish president is contributing to the collapse of his currency, the Turkish lira (-44% against the dollar in 2021). And consequently to the rise in prices.

Sacking of the director of statistics

To ensure that his policy is applied, he has been sacking his economy ministers and central bank presidents in quick succession for three years. At the end of January 2022, he even dismissed Sait Erdal Dinçer, the director of the TÜIK, for publishing bad statistics (sic). He is the fifth to be so sanctioned since 2019.

Eighteen months before the presidential election, Recep Tayyip Erdogan promised last month a "return to single-digit inflation as soon as possible." Nureddin Nebati, his economy minister, said a few hours ago that inflation would peak in April 2022 and remain "below 50%." The same minister had predicted this peak for January 2022 and single-digit inflation in June 2023.

On Wednesday, February 2, 2022, in an address to the General Assembly of the Young Businessmen's Confederation of Turkey (TUGIK), the Turkish president presented the fight against high inflation and the trade deficit as the main medium-term objectives of the Turkish government. He said that "as the months go by, we will bring down the high inflation in our country," and reaffirmed his desire to integrate Turkey into the ten largest economies in the world.

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