UPDATES WITH MONTHLY FIGURES AND BACKGROUND INFORMATION
By Muhammed Ali Gurtas and Aysu Bicer
ANKARA (AA) - Turkey saw an annual hike of 9.26% in consumer prices in August, the country's statistical authority TurkStat reported on Thursday.
Last month, the annual inflation went down 5.75 percentage points from 15.01% in August.
TurkStat data revealed that the figure dropped to single digit for the first time since July 2017.
The institution said the highest annual price increase was recorded in alcoholic beverages and tobacco with 43.86% in August.
"Health with 15.41%, miscellaneous goods and services with 14.98%, hotels, cafes and restaurants with 14.87% and education with 14.00% were the other main groups where high annual increases realized," it said.
On Tuesday, an Anadolu Agency survey showed that a group of 14 economists forecast an average annual climb of 9.64% in consumer prices in September.
The economists also forecast that Turkey's year-end annual inflation would be 12.99% on average -- lowest at 9.8% and highest at 13.93%.
In September, TurkStat said consumer prices rose 0.99% month-on-month.
"The highest monthly increase was 2.15% in housing," it said, and added: "The highest monthly decrease was 0.60% in food and non-alcoholic beverages."
"In September 2019 within average prices of 418 items in the index, average prices of 42 items remained unchanged while average prices of 292 items increased and average prices of 84 items decreased," the institute said.
The official figures also showed that the 12-month average hike in consumer prices was 18.27% as of this September.
At the end of this July, the Central Bank of Turkey lowered the country's year-end inflation forecast from 14.6% to 13.9%, hovering between 11.5% and 16.3% through the end of 2019.
Under Turkey's new economic program announced by the government on Monday, the country's inflation rate target is 12% this year, 8.5% next year, and 6.0% in 2021.
Over the last decade, annual inflation saw its lowest level at 3.99% in March 2011, while it peaked at 25.24% in October 2018.