Turkey’s central bank raises interest rate to 50% despite previous hints of end to hike cycle

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Turkey’s central bank raises interest rate to 50% despite previous hints of end to hike cycle

A picture taken on August 14, 2018 shows the logo of Turkey’s Central Bank at the entrance of its headquarters in Ankara, Turkey.

ADEM ALTAN | AFP | Getty Images

Turkey’s central bank on Thursday raised its key interest rate, the one-week repo rate, from 45% to 50%, citing the continuing need to counter climbing inflation in the country.

“In February, led by services inflation, the underlying trend of monthly inflation was higher than expected,” the bank’s Monetary Policy Committee said in a statement following the decision. It noted that imports of consumption goods and gold slowed, which improved Turkey’s current account balance, but that domestic demand remaining “resilient.”

“Stickiness in services inflation, inflation expectations, geopolitical risks, and food prices keep inflation pressures alive,” the statement said. “The Committee closely monitors the alignment of inflation expectations and pricing behavior with projections, and the impact of wage increases on inflation.”

Turkish annual consumer price inflation soared to 67% in February, fueling concerns that Turkey’s central bank — which had indicated a month prior that its painful eight-month-long rate-hiking cycle was over — might have to return to tightening.

This breaking news story is being updated.

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