Turkish Annual Inflation Falls 1.44% in November

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Turkish Annual Inflation Falls 1.44% in November

Monday, 3 December, 2018 – 11:00
Vendors arrange fruits and vegetables at a green grocery in central Istanbul, Turkey October 9, 2018. REUTERS/Murad Sezer
Istanbul- Asharq Al-Awsat
Turkey’s consumer price index fell 1.44 percent month-on-month in November, official data showed on Monday, bringing the annual inflation rate down from a 15-year high as a stronger lira, tax cuts, and discounted products helped to trim prices.

A plunge in the lira’s value fueled the inflation surge this year, triggering a massive central bank rate hike, but one analyst said the sudden downturn in prices now brought with it the risk of an early loosening in monetary policy.

As it grapples with high inflation, one of the main economic concerns for investors, the central bank has at the same time faced pressure from President Tayyip Erdogan, a self-described “enemy” of interest rates, to lower borrowing costs to spur growth.

Year-on-year, consumer inflation stood at 21.62 percent in November, data from the Turkish Statistical Institute showed. A Reuters poll forecast a 0.75 percent monthly decrease in November and annual inflation of 22.6 percent.

In its battle against inflation, Ankara has cut taxes on consumer products such as vehicles, furniture and white goods and encouraged shops to offer at least 10 percent discounts until the end of the year.

“Tax cuts for automotive, white goods and furniture sectors were the key factor bringing down inflation,” said Muammer Komurcuoglu of Is Investment. “We expect a limited increase in December inflation as the initial impact of tax cuts wane.”

Transportation prices slid 6.46 percent while food and non-alcoholic beverage prices fell 0.74 percent, the data showed. The producer price index fell 2.53 percent in November for an annual rise of 38.54 percent.

Stoked by the weak lira TRYTOM=D3, whose decline against the dollar this year peaked at 47 percent in August, inflation surged to 25.24 percent in October.

Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, Erdogan’s son-in-law, said the downward trend in inflation would continue.

“We will continue to carry forward the structural steps that we have started in the fight against inflation with all our ministries,” Albayrak said on Twitter.

The lira has recovered in recent months after a massive 6.25 percentage point rate hike in September and an improvement in relations with the United States. It was steady at 5.2 against the dollar on Monday, still down more than 26 percent this year.

Turkey’s economy is seen shrinking 1.4 percent in the fourth quarter and officially entering a recession – defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth – in the first three months of 2019, a Reuters poll showed in October.

As the economy slows and inflation falls, prospects for further rate hikes are now off the table, said Jason Tuvey, senior emerging markets economist at Capital Economics.

“With political pressure on the central bank to loosen policy likely to mount, there’s a growing risk that policymakers decide to loosen policy even earlier, and more aggressively, than we currently anticipate,” he said.

Venezuelan: shopkeepers alarmed by Maduro’s latest economic moves

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNBC NEWS)

 

Venezuelan shopkeepers alarmed by Maduro’s latest economic moves

  • The socialist Maduro on Friday ordered a 96 percent currency devaluation, pegged the bolivar currency to the government’s petro crypto currency and boosted taxes as part of a plan aimed at pulling the OPEC member out of its economic tailspin.
  • Venezuela’s main business chamber, Fedecamaras, said it did not have any estimates on the effects of the measure yet, although local economists predicted a heavy toll.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro talks to the media during a news conference at Miraflores Palace in Caracas, Venezuela October 17, 2017.

Carlos Garcia Rawlins | Reuters
Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro talks to the media during a news conference at Miraflores Palace in Caracas, Venezuela October 17, 2017.

After Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s 60-fold increase to the minimum wage, storeowners on Saturday wrestled with an anguishing decision: Close up shop or hit customers with steep price hikes at the risk of sinking the business.

In a set of sweeping announcements that shocked many Venezuelans, the socialist Maduro on Friday ordered a 96 percent currency devaluation, pegged the bolivar currency to the government’s petro cryptocurrency and boosted taxes as part of a plan aimed at pulling the OPEC member out of its economic tailspin.

The measures especially spooked shopkeepers already struggling to stay afloat due to hyperinflation, government-set prices for goods ranging from flour to diapers, and strict currency controls that crimp imports. Many stores were closed on Saturday as owners hunkered down to consider the implications.

Economists warned that some companies would go under, unable to shoulder the massive increase in monthly minimum wage from 3 million bolivars to 180 million bolivars, or roughly $0.5 to $30. That will likely increase unemployment and further fuel mass emigration that has overwhelmed neighboring South American countries.

Jhonny Herrera, 41, owner of a hardware store on the windswept Paraguana Peninsula in northern Venezuela, said he would have to fire two employees because he cannot afford to pay them, leaving him with just one worker. When Venezuela was enjoying a decade-long oil bonanza, he had 10 employees.

“I have thought about closing for good and leaving, all the more so now with these increases. I have held back due to my 14 year-old-son, who I would leave here because I need to emigrate first,” said Herrera, surrounded by stores that have been shuttered after their owners fled the country.

To soften the blow, Maduro vowed that the government would cover three months of the wage increase for small and medium-sized companies. But he did not provide details and it remains unclear how his cash-starved government would afford such a hefty payout or whether the chaotic administration has the logistical capacity to pay wages on time.

The Information Ministry did not respond to a request for an explanation of the plan. Venezuela’s opposition called for protests and a national strike on Tuesday, although recent attempts by the fractured coalition to rally Venezuelans have had little impact.

Maduro no longer can count on armed forces' support

Venezuela’s Maduro can no longer count on armed forces’ support  

Venezuela’s main business chamber, Fedecamaras, said it did not have any estimates on the effects of the measure yet, although local economists predicted a heavy toll.

“A minimum wage of 180 million bolivars in this current situation implies the closure of thousands of companies and the unemployment of many people,” said economist Luis Oliveros.

Bakery owner Luis Carballo, a 59-year-old who has worked in the bread sector for 45 years, said he would try to stay afloat but was full of dread.

“I have to increase prices … And if I don’t sell, production drops, and I have to suspend some of my employees. I feel really badly,” said Carballo, as he handed loaves to customers in the Andean city of San Cristobal.

Outside another bakery in San Cristobal, security guard Victor Martinez fretted with a friend about the measures. “This is worsening the situation. I’m scared of losing my job,” said Martinez.

Freaking Out Over Dropping Oil Prices

Freaking Out Over Dropping Oil Prices

 

Many years ago I saw a TV program of “The Jefferson’s” where George the main character had died but 20 years later he got to come back as a ghost so he checked in on his family. The one other part of the program I remember was a little girl coming into the room and she asked her dad for five dollars so that she could get and ice cream and her dad said “only five dollars”? That line was put into the program for the laugh factor yet those words ring with and obvious truth of the deflation of our own dollar. At the time of this program you could get and ice cream for about 75 cents, now days quite a few of the treats cost between $2.75-3.50, the joke is on ourselves. Fake money, that which we strive and die for all of our lives. When your Pepsi cost $5.00 and your burger cost $15.00 what good is a $8.00 per hour job? Twenty years from now when we are maybe making $18.00 to $20.00 per hour and a Pepsi is $15 and a burger is $30 how do survive the real costs of living?

 

I have believed for a long time now that Deflation is absolutely required within the worlds most industrialized nations which of course includes us here in the U.S.. I believe that the biggest inflation maker in our nation is generated from the very base level of Government, the local level Politicians. These Politicians are the ones who are always needing more revenue and the local home owner is the venue of which they suck from. About 20 or so odd years ago I heard part of and interview of Tom Jones with a lady commentator, I think it was Ms Walters but I’m not positive of that. Mr Jones spoke of the home that he and his wife had lived in for twenty years, he said he paid one million for it twenty years ago but now this same house is now worth ten millions so says the tax collector. Taxes go up, people have to make more money to pay these taxes or one of many different Government agency’s will take “your property” from you. When the prices of houses keep going up it makes it where the majority of people don’t believe they will ever have and actual house of their own. I believe that one of the necessary steps Our Government should do when they are gathering data on everything that breathes and many that don’t is to get rid of the Out Liars and the liars.

 

Deflation is and absolute requirement that at some point we as a nation will have to live through. Is the dropping oil costs the trigger that topples the phony houses of the .01% who reap fortunes on the bones of those they have crushed beneath them on their unending desire to always have more? If We The People want a more truthful stat on things like average wages or the value of houses in our area I believe the stats people need to always get rid of the Out liars. I believe we would get a better state of the Nation figures if for example on value of houses if the top 10% and the bottom 10% were taken out of the equation you will get more truthful results. I’m not saying that these people don’t count they do, everyone of them count. But we need more truthful numbers if we want to know what the true state of the Union is, we need to get rid of all the obvious Out liars. When the price of a nations fuel is dropping it should be a great thing for business and the people of that nation. Instead the stock market is stumbling because of it. When people lose their jobs the value of the company goes up just like with mergers, then their stock value goes up. Things are backwards in our society folks, deflation of the housing and vehicle markets (as examples) are necessary otherwise the world we are leaving our children will be where they can’t afford toilet paper. The cost of absolutely everything must reach a stage where it’s cost quits going up. If I make $100 per hour but my Pepsi cost $50 and my cheese burger is $90 what good is the $100 per hour? This balloon has got to pop at sometime in the future, is it now? The world oil glut is getting harder to hide, is this the fire cracker that pops the balloon?