Analysis of Turkey’s Statistics Institute Inflation Data

Analysis of Turkey’s Statistics Institute Inflation Data

Turkey’s Statistical Institute (TUIK) has faced criticism over its inflation data, raising concerns about the credibility of the figures. Historical data on product prices beyond May 2022 was not available, and there were questions about the transparency of the calculations. The recent release of data showing a decrease in annual inflation to below 72% in June also sparked skepticism.

In response to the criticisms, the head of TUIK, Erhan Cetinkaya, defended the institute’s methods, stating that inflation is calculated based on over 600,000 prices. He explained that the historical prices that were not shared had no significant value and that product prices needed additional work to be published. Cetinkaya emphasized that no country includes product prices in their official inflation figures.

Despite the explanation provided by TUIK, experts like Hakan Kara, a former chief central bank economist, criticized the institute’s decision to withhold historical data on product prices. Kara questioned the necessity of such actions, especially considering the impact on calculating the consumer price index. The lack of transparency in the inflation calculations raised doubts among economists.

While TUIK has faced scrutiny over its inflation calculations for several years, some economists have acknowledged an improvement in accuracy since June 2023. The implementation of a new economic policy by the government was perceived as a positive step towards addressing inflation concerns. Cetinkaya highlighted that Turkey’s official inflation data was aligned closely with perceived inflation, although the latter was twice the official figure for the Turkish population.

The central bank’s decision to increase the policy rate to 50% from 8.5% in June 2023 aimed to curb inflation and stabilize prices. The June inflation data indicated a downward trend in inflation, suggesting a potential long-term improvement. Cetinkaya reassured that any price changes in July would be reflected in the upcoming data.

The credibility of Turkey’s statistics institute’s inflation data has been under scrutiny, with concerns raised over transparency and accuracy. While efforts have been made to address these criticisms and improve calculations, the lack of historical data on product prices has sparked skepticism among experts. Moving forward, it is essential for TUIK to enhance transparency in its data collection and calculations to maintain credibility and trust among stakeholders.


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