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ANKARA: Inflation in Turkey dropped for the first time to nearly 22 percent last month after surging to a 15-year high in October, official statistics showed on Monday.

The increase in consumer prices fell to 21.62 percent in November compared with he same month last year, still very high in relative terms but down from the 25.24 percent rate recorded in October and the first drop since March this year, according to the Turkish statistics office (TUIK).

The figure was also lower than the Bloomberg consensus forecast of 23 percent.

The better figures reflect the likely effects of an aggressive rate hike in September when the central bank raised the one week repo rate 625 basis points to 24 percent.

Compared with October, November consumer prices fell 1.44 percent.

The value of the Turkish lira -- which has been rallying against the US dollar since an Ankara-Washington spat ended last month -- firmed after the announcement.

The currency was at 5.16 against the greenback after 0800 GMT, gaining nearly one percent.

Earlier this year, the lira fell sharply amid tensions between Turkey and NATO ally the United States and worries over President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's economic policies.

But in the past few weeks following improved relations with Washington and indications Ankara will follow economic orthodoxy, the lira has firmed from below six against the dollar.

At one point in August, the lira was trading at seven to the greenback.

The Turkish government has promised to fight inflation with a series of measures, including encouraging voluntary price cuts by businesses.

Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak welcomed the data in a series of tweets.

"This shows that the decline in inflation has begun strongly and that the downward trend will continue," Albayrak said.

He added that Turkey would continue to support "strong" monetary and financial policies.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Press), 2018


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