imageISTANBUL: Turkish Central Bank Governor Erdem Basci said the bank would be able to achieve its main target of cutting inflation to under 7 percent by the end of the year, Anadolu Agency reported.

"We have achieved a gradual decrease in inflation from above 9.7 percent last year," Basci was quoted as saying on the news agency's website late on Wednesday. "We are trying to take it below 7 percent."

According to the latest data, Turkey's consumer prices rose 7.55 percent year-on-year in February.

Earlier this week, the central bank left interest rates on hold as the lira's slide to record lows risked stoking inflation, resisting pressure from President Tayyip Erdogan to cut rates ahead of a June election.

Last month, the central bank trimmed all key interest rates in the face of easing inflation, but still drew political criticism for not cutting more.

Annual inflation rose in February and inflation expectations have also worsened. Year-end inflation is seen at 6.98 percent, according to the latest central bank survey of business leaders' and economists' expectations, up from 6.77 percent a month ago.

Copyright Reuters, 2015

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