The Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK - TurkStat) announced a fall in the consumer inflation rate for August 2019 compared with the previous month as 0.86%, resulting in a fall in the annual-to-date rate to 15.01% from the previous month’s rate of 16.65%. This was lower than market expectations. The lower annual rate can be explained by the high increase in the monthly inflation rate of 2.30% for August 2018 following the currency crisis of the Summer of 2018. The high August 2018 is now out out of the equation for calculating the annual rate for August 2019.
The highest monthly increase was recorded in alcoholic beverages and tobacco with 19.11%, followed by education with 4.26%, housing with 2.04%, miscellaneous goods and services with 0.89%, and restaurants and hotels with 0.75%.
Monthly decreases were recorded in transportation with 1.94%, clothing and footwear with 1.10%, and food and non-alcoholic beverages with 0.77%.
The highest annual increase was recorded in alcoholic beverages and tobacco with 41.42%, followed by miscellaneous goods and services with 20.98%, household goods with 20.13%, restaurants and hotels with 18.52%, education with 17.59%, health with 17.47%, and food and non-alcoholic beverages with 17.22%.
There is now much speculation as to the accurateness of the inflation figures produced by TurkStat. The ordinary citizen feels that he has experienced a much higher rise in the cost of living over the last year and finds the government’s 15.01% annual inflation rate incredulous.