Turkey’s central bank lifts 2018 inflation forecast by 0.9pp to 7.9%

Turkey’s central bank lifts 2018 inflation forecast by 0.9pp to 7.9%
By bne IntelliNews January 30, 2018

Turkey’s central bank has raised its end-2018 consumer price inflation forecast to 7.9% from the previous estimate of 7%, the national lender said in the latest edition of its Inflation Report, published on January 30.

The authority said it hiked its inflation forecast due to upward revisions in the assumption for TRY-denominated import prices of 0.7 percentage points and in the output gap by 0.1 percentage points. Other factors were higher-than-projected inflation in the last quarter of 2017 and a rise in the underlying trend of inflation by 0.1 points, Governor Murat Cetinkaya said in a press release.

Inflation is expected to stabilise at around 5% in the medium term after falling to 6.5% at end-2019, the central bank added.

The Turkish lira gained 0.32% d/d against the USD to trade at 3.7729 as of 15:00 local time on January 30 while the benchmark Istanbul stock market index BIST-100 was down 0.63% to 120,086.

Annual consumer price inflation came in at 11.92% in December, easing from the 14-year high of 12.98% in November. Expectations for Turkey's end-2018 inflation stand at 9.5% % in January, the central bank’s regular survey of businesses and analysts showed on January 12.

In its latest monetary policy committee (MPC) meeting held on January 18, the central bank of Turkey, which is battling double-digit inflation and a fluctuating Turkish lira while facing criticism that it is not doing enough to address an overheating economy, kept its one-week repo (8%), overnight lending (9.25%) and borrowing (7.25%) rates on hold. It also opted to keep its late liquidity window lending rate unchanged at 12.75%.