Istanbul’s annual inflation hits 107 pct,  further widening gap with national rate

Annual retail inflation in Turkey’s most populous city of Istanbul rose to 107.4 percent  in September from 99.9 percent the previous month, Turkish newspaper Dünya reported on Saturday, citing the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce.

Consumer prices in the city of some 16 million more than doubled from a year ago, the newspaper said.

The latest data marks a continuation of an upward trajectory in the megacity’s inflation, the highest on record according to chamber’s data going back to 1996.

Erdoğan launched an unorthodox economic experiment nearly a year ago in attempting to bring down chronically high inflation by slashing interest rates, plunging the country into a fresh economic crisis. The move prompted the lira to slump, losing 44 percent of its value against the U.S. dollar in 2021 and roughly 28 percent this year.

The Turkish leader maintains the unorthodox belief that high borrowing costs lead to higher prices, which opposes established economic theory. 

Turkey’s official consumer price inflation rate edged up to 80.2 percent last month, extending the highest level since 1998, after the central bank unexpectedly cut interest rates.

Istanbul’s September inflation figures have widened the megacity’s gap with the national figure to its widest since 2004, according to Istanbul Chamber of Commerce data.

The cost of everything in the megacity from food to rent saw a sharp hike last month, the chamber’s data showed.

Istanbul inflation has traditionally been used by economists as a gauge of nationwide inflation, which is released later each month.

Turkey’s actual inflation increased to 181.4 percent in August year-on-year, according to a nationwide measure for inflation published by ENAG Group, an independent body of Turkish academics.

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