Consumer prices in crisis-hit Turkey rose by 3.1 percent in June and were up 56.1 percent on a 12-month basis, the state statistics institute announced on Tuesday, July 3. Wholesale prices increased 2.9 percent in June from the previous month and rose by 61.8 percent from a year earlier.
Turkey's annual inflation stood at 48.3 percent in April and 52.4 percent in May. Tuesday's figures represent a declining trend in monthly price hikes, which skyrocketed after severe financial turmoil hit Turkey in February. The government then abandoned the Turkish lira's peg to the dollar so as to contain a cash crunch wreaking havoc on the markets.
Consumer prices climbed 6.1 percent in March and 10.3 percent in April, while the wholesale increases were 10.1 and 14.4 percent respectively. Ankara's decision to cut the currency lose led to the lira losing some 40 percent of its value against the dollar and broke the backbone of an IMF-backed anti-inflation plan in place since December 1999.
In May, Turkey introduced a package of tight reforms to put the economy on track and won a multi-billion-dollar emergency package aid from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the condition that the program is carried out to the full.
On Monday, the IMF said in Washington that it was postponing a meeting to consider further aid for Turkey's economic program, because several reforms ― particularly in the banking sector ― had not yet been implemented.
Also on Monday, Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer signed a banking reform law, which should lead to closing the loss-making state bank Emlak, crucial to the release of $1.5 billion in IMF funds. ― (AFP, Ankara)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)