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Turkey inflation drops below 50% 11 days before elections

Though inflation has dipped, Turkey’s monthly consumer prices continue to rise amid a cost-of-living crisis.
Chris McGrath/Getty Images

ANKARA — Turkey’s inflation fell below 50% on Wednesday, giving limited ammunition to the government to gloat about amid a cost-of-living crisis just 11 days before a critical general election on May 14.

Turkish consumer prices rose 2.39% month-on-month in April, while annual inflation eased to 43.68% from 50.651% in March, official data released on Wednesday showed. 

The fall in inflation is largely due to the relatively lower annual price increases in comparison to the respective previous periods, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK), which aggregated the data. 

TUIK said communication services were the main driver of inflation in April, rising by nearly 6% from the previous month. The second-highest monthly increase was in restaurant and hotel prices, which were up by 4.24%, followed by a nearly 4% increase in the food and non-alcoholic beverages group, the data showed.

Turkey’s consumer inflation hit a 24-year high of 85.5% in October before easing in the ensuing months, also mainly due to the relatively lower annual price increases in comparison to the respective previous periods.

The country is facing one of its worst ever cost-of-living-crises with breakneck food inflation. Turkey’s annual food inflation stands at nearly 54%, according to the data released on Wednesday.  

With a week and a half to go to the crucial parliamentary and presidential elections on May 14, economic woes remain a top concern of the country’s electorate of nearly 65 million.  

The Feb. 6 earthquakes that killed more than 55,500 people in Turkey have put further strain on the economy, the figures released on Wednesday showed. 

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