| 29 January 2023, Sunday |

Turkey’s cenbank to cut policy rate to 15 pct, as lira hits record lows: Poll

According to a Reuters poll, Turkey’s central bank is expected to cut its policy rate by 100 basis points to 15 percent next week, continuing an easing cycle despite rising inflation and a currency that has fallen to record lows.

Since September, the central bank has reduced its policy rate by 300 basis points to 16 percent, providing President Tayyip Erdogan with the stimulus he has long sought, even as inflation has risen to 20 percent.

Erdogan’s meddling at the central bank, including a rapid turnover in leadership, has eroded the bank’s credibility and contributed to the lira’s sharp decline against the dollar in recent years.

The median forecast of 14 economists polled by Reuters for the next week’s monetary policy decision was a 100-basis-point cut to 15%, with forecasts ranging from no change to a 150-basis-point cut.

At least four regular Reuters poll participants did not make a prediction, citing unusual difficulties in predicting the central bank’s moves.

Enver Erkan, chief economist at Tera Yatirim, believes the central bank will continue to cut rates in November despite the fact that “general conditions, particularly inflation, are not met.”

In a departure from previous guidance, the central bank stated last month that the country’s main issue was the current account deficit, and that closing the gap was critical to maintaining price stability and supporting the lira.

After unexpectedly lowering its policy rate by 200 basis points last month, it has stated that there is limited room for further cuts this year.

The lira has dropped to new lows against the dollar as a result of the larger-than-expected cuts. It hit 9.9750 on Thursday, bringing its year-to-date losses to more than 25%.

Lower-than-expected core inflation in October, according to Deutsche Bank, increased the likelihood of faster rate cuts this year, adding that the bank’s recent communication suggests it has a greater tolerance for rate cuts.

“We believe the decline in core inflation will be temporary, due to the lag effects of ongoing TRY depreciation and the expiration of temporary tax cuts on some services,” the bank said in a note.

According to Deutsche Bank, the lira’s depreciation and the rise in international commodity prices will likely outweigh any positive base effects on inflation in the final two months of the year.

The median estimate of 12 economists for the policy rate at year’s end was 15%, with forecasts ranging from 13% to 16%.

The central bank’s rate decision is set to be announced on November 18 at 1100 GMT.

  • Reuters