Turkish government to start selling fruit & veg in inflation battle

Turkey’s local authorities will begin selling fruit and vegetables to help slow rising food costs, Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said.

The municipalities will start offering the cheaper items from next week, Albayrak said, according to Dünya newspaper.

Turkey’s government is seeking ways to slow consumer price inflation, which hit a 15-year high of 25.2 percent in October, ahead of March local elections. The rate fell to 20.3 percent in December, but surging food prices pushed the it up to 20.4 percent last month.

Inflation would have slowed to 18.85 percent last month were it not for the impact of food prices, Albayrak said. The rate would also have fallen 0.43 percent month-on-month, he said.

Albayrak said interest rates on loans have now slowed to the 20 percent range from 40 percent last year, when a currency crisis hit the economy. Liquidity in the banking sector, lumbered with increasing amounts of non-performing debt, is now improving and would continue to do so in February and March, he said.

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