October 7, 2018 / 9:39 AM / 15 days ago

UPDATE 1-Turkey will not compromise budget discipline in new inflation programme - minister

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ANKARA, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said there would be no compromise in budget discipline in his programme to combat surging inflation due to be announced next week, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Sunday.

Earlier this week data showed Turkey’s inflation soared to a 15-year high of nearly 25 percent in September, with prices jumping 6.3 percent from a month earlier.

The size of the increase far outpaced expectations and underscored the deep impact of a currency crisis on the economy and consumers, after the lira lost nearly 40 percent of its value this year.

Following the release of the inflation data on Wednesday, Albayrak said he would announce a programme as part of the government’s “full-fledged” battle against rising consumer prices.

“There is no compromise in budget discipline, the rebalancing period in the economy has started. A strong programme to combat inflation will be announced,” Albayrak was quoted as telling members of the ruling AK Party on Sunday.

Concerns about President Tayyip Erdogan’s influence over the central bank and a rift between Ankara and Washington that led to reciprocal sanctions and trade restrictions have pushed the lira into meltdown.

In an attempt to rein in the plunging currency, the central bank delivered a massive 6.25 percentage point rate hike last month. The currency has been underpinned by this and by hopes that ties with the United States may improve.

The sell-off has pushed up prices of everything from food to fuel and eroded confidence in what was once a high-flying emerging market. (Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Dale Hudson and Jan Harvey)

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