Wednesday, 21 November 2018
Latest news
Main » Turkey central bank stuns markets with giant rate hike

Turkey central bank stuns markets with giant rate hike

14 September 2018

"The central bank will continue to use all available instruments in pursuit of the price stability objective", the central bank's monetary policy committee said in a statement.

Despite the comments, Erdogan added: "There has been no change in my sensitivities on the issue of interest rates".

The lira is down 38% against the dollar this year despite Thursday's slim gain.

Right before the bank acted, Erdogan decried high interest rates as a "tool of exploitation".

Earlier in the day, Erdogan had launched a blistering attack on the central bank, causing a sharp fall in the value of the lira just ahead of the crucial rate decision.

It described the hike as a "strong monetary tightening to support price stability".

Following the CBRT's announcement, the Turkish lira strengthened to 6.0151 against the US dollar from a 6.45 level, gaining almost 5 percent.

"Tight stance in monetary policy will be maintained decisively until inflation outlook displays a significant improvement".

The bank´s intervention was the latest aggressive rate hike to calm economic turbulence in an emerging market after the Argentinian central bank´s recent hike from 45 to 60 percent on August 30.

"Turkey needs structural reforms to increase productivity, to decrease its dependence on short-term portfolio flows and to decrease the rigidness in the labour market".

Addressing a meeting of Turkish tradespeople in Ankara on Thursday, before the rate decision was announced, Erdoğan said the central bank is independent and takes its own decisions. The rate hike could squeeze growth further, but independent experts say it is needed to contain inflation of about 18% and support the currency.

Ignoring calls for restraint from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the bank raised its main short-term rate from 17.5% following weeks of pressure from worldwide investors.

"Interest rates are the cause, inflation is the result".

The bank said it was hiking its main interest rate by 625 basis points to 24 per cent, double the market consensus for the raise. "Erdogan´s speech. was meant to put distance between himself and the (bank´s) decision".

The bank later said funding would be provided via the policy rate, the one week repo auction rate, instead of through overnight lending from September 14.

The lira has plunged in recent weeks on concerns over domestic policymaking and a crisis in relations with the United States.

He's delivered on that pledge, ousting the old guard of policy makers who'd guided the economy since 2002 and giving himself the sole authority to make appointments at the central bank and other state organizations.

The US earlier hit Turkey with tariffs on items such as steel and aluminium in an effort to increase pressure on the country to free the detained American pastor Andrew Brunson.

Turkey central bank stuns markets with giant rate hike