Turkish inflation slowdown not believable, main opposition party says
Turkey’s inflation rate slowed markedly in September, in line with the government’s predictions, but Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s main political adversary, says the data is not believable.
Turkey’s consumer price inflation eased to 9.3 percent in September from 15 percent in August. The slowdown to single digits was flagged by the government early last month.
“It’s only possible in a party state to announce inflation of 9 percent,” Kılıçdaroğlu told members of his Republican People’s Party (CHP) at a meeting in Bolu in northwest Turkey at the weekend, according to local media including the Diken news website.
“Citizens are asking “how inflation can be at 9 percent?”. They are looking at the cash in their pockets, what they can buy….” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
Turkey’s inflation rate has dropped from a 15-year high of 25.2 percent 12 months ago during an economic downturn. The government says price increases have slowed thanks to fiscal measures, decreases in borrowing costs and voluntary price reductions by companies. Economists cite depressed consumer demand and favourable base effects as main reasons for the slowdown.
Some critics of government policy say personnel changes at the Turkish Statistical Institute, which is responsible for calculating inflation data, mean the accuracy of official data has become questionable.
“The state is saying “you will produce the numbers I want”,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.