| 19 April 2024, Friday |

Turkey lifts minimum wage by 34% to address inflation

Turkey increased the monthly minimum salary by 34% beginning July 1, the government said on Tuesday, bringing it to a net 11,402 lira ($483) for the second half of the year in an effort to combat skyrocketing inflation.

“The minimum wage assessment commission completed its work with an agreement between workers and employers,” Labour Minister Vedat Isikhan said after the verdict was announced.

Inflation is significantly beyond the stated 5% objective, reaching a 24-year high of 85.5% in October, pushing Ankara to increase the minimum wage by 100% in a single year.

Annual inflation dipped to 39.6% in May as the government provided natural gas free of charge, offsetting price rises in other goods.

The cost-of-living crisis was largely brought on by an unorthodox policy of slashing interest rates despite rising prices, which stoked a late-2021 currency crisis. The lira has shed another 21% so far this year, mostly after May elections.

However, re-elected President Tayyip Erdogan has signalled he is ready to pivot to rate hikes after appointing Mehmet Simsek as finance minister and Hafize Gaye Erkan as central bank governor.

The central bank is holding its policy-setting meeting on Thursday and is expected to start ramping up its rate from 8.5% currently.

  • Reuters