Turkey inflation rises to 67%, keeping pressure on cenbank

Turkish liras banknotes are piled in an exchange currency shop in Istanbul, in a file photo. [AP]

Turkey's annual inflation rate climbed to 67.07% in February, exceeding expectations and keeping up pressure for tight monetary policy amid strong rises in food, hotel and education prices, official data showed on Monday.

Shortly before the data, Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek told local broadcaster BloombergHT that inflation would remain high in the coming months due to base effects and the delayed impact of rate hikes, but would fall in the next 12 months.

The central bank has hiked interest rates by 3,650 basis points since June, but has now paused its tightening cycle saying that the current 45% policy rate is sufficient to bring inflation down.

Yet some economists see a growing prospect of more tightening sometime after nationwide local elections on March 31, given the price pressure and strong domestic demand.

"Core price pressures continue to run...

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