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“Truly Awful Numbers”: Lira Tumbles After Turkish Inflation Explodes Most In 15 Years

Having stabilized modestly after its mid-June rout, which sent the Turkish Lira to a record low of 4.74 – on the re-election of president Erdogan of all things – overnight the TRY tumbled as much as 1.4% to 4.6813 after Turkey reported that headline inflation soared from +12.1%y/y in May to +15.4%y/y in June, significantly above the 13.9% y/y consensus expectations.

This was the worst inflation print since the runaway inflation days at the start of the century, and the highest since October 2003.

The monthly jump in inflation of 2.61%, was more than double the median Bloomberg estimate and higher than the highest est. of 1.8%.

As Goldman details, prices rose across the board: Food and nonalcoholic beverages inflation increased by 7.9pp to +18.9%yoy, on the back of a sharp rise in vegetable prices, and accounted for 1.8pp of the overall 3.3pp rise in the headline figure.

Core inflation also increased sharply, from +12.6%yoy in May to +14.6%yoy in June, above consensus expectations of +13.4%yoy. The rise in core inflation was broad-based with all major categories except education registering increases. Nevertheless, the sharp rises in the purchase of vehicle and telecommunication services categories were notable.

Understandable, currency traders were shocked at the print, which if anything is an underestimation of real price tendencies, and sent the Lira sliding to the lowest level against the USD since June 26.

In light of Erdogan’s recent comments, some of which have gone so far as suggesting the president may soon take over the rate-setting process himself making the Turkish Central Bank redundant, commentators were horrified at today’s data: commenting on the number, Medley Global EMEA analyst Nigel Rendell warned that “if policymakers react with only half-hearted measures, President Erdogan’s new term in office will quickly morph into a financial crisis”, quoted by Bloomberg.

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