Turkish ex-bank official says lira falling due to economic policy, data

Former Turkish Central Bank Deputy Governor Ibrahim Turhan said the country’s beleaguered lira is weakening due to low confidence in economic decision-making and data.

Political tensions with the United States were also adding to selling pressure, Turhan said in comments on Twitter on Thursday.

“Weakening of TRY is related basically to the deterioration of risk perception due to lack of confidence in the integrity of economic policies and the reliability of data, as well as elevated political tension due to developments in international relations,” he said.

The lira has lost more than 10 percent of its value this year, adding to declines of 28 percent in 2018. The currency fell 0.2 percent to 5.93 per dollar at 1:02 p.m. in Istanbul on Friday.

Turhan also criticised his ex-employer, saying the central bank was wrong to drop a commitment to raise interest rates if necessary from an explanation this week for leaving the benchmark rate unchanged at 24 percent.

In comments in Turkish, the former official also raised concerns about a government plan to revamp support for the agricultural sector. He said it was worrying to read reports indicating that Ankara planned to introduce some kind of centralised Soviet-style system that ran against free market policies.