World Economy

Turkish Annual Inflation Misses Estimates

Turkish Annual Inflation Misses EstimatesTurkish Annual Inflation Misses Estimates

Turkish consumer price inflation accelerated more than estimated in February as food prices surged.

Consumer inflation rate rose to 7.55 percent from 7.24 percent in the previous month, Turkey’s statistics bureau said in a statement on its website. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists was 7.42 percent. Food prices increased at an annual rate of 13.7 percent, Bloomberg reported.

Turkey’s political leaders used January’s drop in the inflation rate to step up pressure on the central bank to cut interest rates. The bank reduced rates last month at what it called a “measured” pace, drawing further criticism from the government for being too cautious. It cited the “elevated volatility in food and energy prices” to explain the decision.

The producer-price index for agriculture rose 13 percent in the 12 months through January, the biggest increase since September, according to official data. The lira has weakened around 7 percent against the dollar this year, contributing to an increase in the price of gasoline last month.

The currency strengthened against the dollar after the inflation data, trading 0.2 higher at 2.5125 per dollar at 10:08 a.m.

Meanwhile, the biggest annual drop in Turkish imports since 2009 helped narrow the trade deficit to its lowest level in almost five years.

The gap shrank 38 percent from a year ago in January to $4.31 billion, beating the median forecast of $4.6 billion in a Bloomberg survey of seven analysts. Imports dropped 13.7 percent over the same period, the most since October 2009, according to a statement by Turkey’s state statistics institute in Ankara. Exports also fell 0.6 percent to $12.3 billion.