Inflation Figures for August Disputed, Economist Says ‘Quite Bizarre’

Economists and political parties have said the TurkStat figures for annual inflation rates do not reflect the truth.

The Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) announced the August Consumer Price Index (CPI) and domestic Producer Price Index figures this morning (September 3).

According to TurkStat, monthly inflation was measured as 0.86 percent and annual inflation as 15.1 percent in August. In July, annual inflation was measured at 16.65 percent.

Minister Albayrak: We will catch our targets

Minister of Treasury and Finance Berat Albayrak posted a statement on Twitter, saying, "We recorded significant falls in CPI, PPI and core inflation in August. We will meet our year-end targets in all areas with priority policies to fight inflation and healthy growth," he said.

However, along with the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), the Confederation of Public Workers' Unions (KESK) and economists objected to the TurkStat figures.

CHP: Prices are rising, inflation is falling(!)

CHP Deputy Chairperson Aykut Erdogdu, said that annual inflation food inflation stood at 22.55 percent according to the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (ITO) and at 22.19 percent according to the Confederation of Turkish Trade Unions (Turk-Is). "Inflation is falling while prices are rising in the country," Erdogdu said.

HDP: Mr. Son-in-Law determines the figures of TurkStat

HDP MP Garo Paylan also said on Twitter that the TurkStat announced monthly inflation rate as 0.86 percent although prices of tea, cigarettes, natural gas and electricity "hiked abnormally" in August inflation. "Mr. Son-in-Law determines the figures of TurkStat," said Paylan, referring to Minister Albayrak. "Natural gas alone is up 53.98% in one year. According to Mr. son-in-law, annual inflation is 15%. Yemeyelim" mesaji paylasti.

KESK: They are hiding the real inflation rate

The KESK also mentioned the recent increase in the prices of tea, sugar, natural gas, electricity and petroleum. In the statement, TurkStat's announcement of August inflation as 0.86 percent and twelve-month average inflation as 19.62% was considered as "evidence of the hiding real inflation rates through TurkStat".

Economist Mahfi Egilmez said in a tweet that inflation rates dropping while the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce figures show retail prices increased by 2.53 percent in August is "pretty weird."

Source: English Bianet