By Nevzat Devranoglu
ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said on Tuesday he expects more sharp interest rate cuts from the central bank, which should bring down inflation and lower costs for borrowers, beginning with lower rates from state banks.
Albayrak – speaking less than a week after Turkey’s central bank slashed rates by a more than expected 425 points, stoking concerns about its independence – said the bank makes policy decisions based on data sets and has entered an easing era.
“With the serious loosening of interest rates in Turkey in the recent period, and based on the fact that the interest rate trend will come down more clearly and strongly in the coming period, we have entered a period of interest rate cuts,” Albayrak, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s son-in-law, said at a press conference in Ankara.
On Thursday, the central bank cut its key policy rate to 19.75% from 24%, where it had remained since September in the depths of Turkey’s currency crisis.
It was the first policy decision under new central bank governor Murat Uysal, who took the reins after Erdogan sacked former governor Murat Cetinkaya some three weeks ago. Erdogan, who has long urged lower rates, said he made the move because Cetinkaya did not follow instructions.
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