ISTANBUL: Turkey’s inflation rate fell from a two-year high to 16.59% year-on-year in May, data showed on Thursday, bucking market expectations for another rise thanks largely to limited price increases during a full lockdown in the first half of the month.
Inflation had quickened to 17.14% in April, the highest since mid-2019, due to the lira’s sharp fall after President Tayyip Erdogan sacked a hawkish central bank governor in March.
The currency weakened further in May, raising expectations of higher inflation due to imports priced in hard currencies. The median estimate in a Reuters poll for annual inflation was 17.25%.
Month-on-month, consumer prices rose 0.89%, the Turkish Statistical Institute said, compared to a Reuters poll forecast of 1.46%. Turkey was under lockdown in the first half of May aimed at slowing the spread of new Covid-19 cases. Economists said a ban on the sale of some items during the lockdown curbed price rises but that hikes would be implemented in June.