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Some good news..Turkish inflation falls to historic low in March !
1.       tunci
7149 posts
 05 Apr 2011 Tue 12:44 pm

Turkish inflation falls to historic low in March

The Turkish economy expanded an annual 9.2 percent in the fourth quarter, driven by a boom in domestic demand. AA photo

The Turkish economy expanded an annual 9.2 percent in the fourth quarter, driven by a boom in domestic demand. AA photo

Turkey’s inflation rate declined in March unexpectedly, extending a historic low and strengthening the Central Bank’s hand in keeping interest rates on hold at a record low of 6.25 percent until the June 12 general elections.

Inflation slowed to 4 percent, the lowest since July 1970, from 4.2 percent a month ago, the Turkish Statistics Institute, or TurkStat, announced Monday. The median estimate of seven economists surveyed by Bloomberg was 4.4 percent, and none forecast a slowdown.

Overall, prices rose 0.4 percent in the month. Food prices fell 0.4 percent in the month, while transport costs rose 1.6 percent, according to TurkStat.

The Turkish Central Bank, led by Gov. Durmuş Yılmaz, is pursuing an unorthodox monetary policy in keeping interest rates low while increasing reserve requirements for banks to cut loan growth and thus limit domestic demand.

The cost of goods leaving Turkish factories and mines rose 10.1 percent in the 12 months through March, compared with 10.9 percent the month before. Producer prices gained 1.2 percent in the month.

“These numbers will clearly come to a relief to the [Central Bank] as they suggest no need for further monetary tightening this side of parliamentary elections,” said Timothy Ash, an emerging markets economist at the Royal Bank of Scotland. “Arguably, the current Turkish Lira strength will also help the fight against inflation.”

Ash noted that the lira is also “seemingly being underpinned” by capital flight from the Middle East to "safe haven" Turkey.

“Foreign trade data that suggests domestic demand is still strong and rising oil/food prices will continue to create a risk over inflation,” said Akbank economists in a note to investors.

Breathing room for policymakers

“This is excellent news for the Central Bank, it provides credibility and breathing room for a bank that seems determined to stay on hold,” Bloomberg quoted Yarkın Cebeci, an Istanbul-based economist for JPMorgan Chase, as saying. “Headline and core inflation were lower than expected and food prices remain benign.”

Gov. Yılmaz said Feb. 25 that surging global energy prices are likely to mean a higher year-end inflation rate than the bank’s 5.9 percent forecast.

The Turkish economy expanded an annual 9.2 percent in the fourth quarter, driven by a boom in domestic demand that policymakers are trying to slow through limits on bank loans.

Data on that front showed the policy is having an effect, but maybe not as fast as Gov. Yılmaz would want. According to figures released Monday by the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency, or BRSA, loan growth in banking slowed to 34.5 percent annually in the week to March 25.

Turkish loans increased to 565.4 billion liras ($369 billion), expanding at a slower pace than the annual 36.1 percent they grew in the week to March 18. Loans expanded 0.2 percent on a weekly basis as of March 25 – the slowest growth in seven weeks.


 

 

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