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Turkish inflation seen at 11.9% in October: Reuters poll

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey’s inflation is expected to tick up slightly in October to stand at 11.90%, near the same level as the previous three months, a Reuters poll showed on Friday, after a weak lira led the central bank to raise its year-end forecast this week.

FILE PHOTO: A money changer counts Turkish lira bills at an currency exchange office in central Istanbul, Turkey, August 21, 2015. REUTERS/Murad Sezer

The lira’s decline, nearly 30% so far this year, has lead to higher inflation via imports priced in hard currencies. Prices have also remained elevated due to strong credit growth and rising food prices, leading the central bank to hike its year-end forecast this week to 12.1% from 8.9%.

In a Reuters poll of 13 economists, the median estimate for inflation in October was 11.90%, with forecasts ranging between 12.46% and 11.64%.

The median expectation for the monthly rate was 2.10%, with estimates between 2.65% and 1.90%.

The central bank unexpectedly kept its policy rate unchanged at 10.25% this month, which sent the lira to new record lows. It raised the top limit of its interest rate corridor to 14.75%, saying the move aimed to make policy more flexible.

The bank has tightened policy through various steps, including tightening liquidity and funding the market through a higher rate, which have pulled the average cost of funding CBTWACF= to 13.08% as of Wednesday.

The median estimate of 10 economists for inflation at year-end was 12.25%, with forecasts ranging between 11% and 13%.

The lira TRYTOM=D3 has declined since the beginning of the year on concerns over sticky inflation, negative real rates, the central bank's forex reserves, Turks' surging demand for forex, and, more recently, geopolitical tensions.

A currency crisis in 2018 that nearly halved the lira’s value at one point sent inflation rocketing to a 15-year high of more than 25%.

The Turkish Statistical Institute is scheduled to announce October inflation data on Tuesday, Nov. 3, at 0700 GMT.

Reporting by Ezgi Erkoyun and Ali Kucukgocmen; Editing by Nick Macfie

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