The Maslak financial and business center in the Sariyer district of Istanbul.

Ayhan Altun | Moment | Getty Images

Turkish annual consumer price inflation soared to 67.07% in February, the Turkish Statistical Institute said Monday, coming in above expectations.

Analysts polled by Reuters had anticipated annual inflation would climb to 65.7% last month.

The combined sector of hotels, cafes and restaurants saw the greatest annual price inflation increase at 94.78%, followed by education at 91.84%, while the rate for health stood at 81.25% and transportation at 77.98%, according to the statistical institute.

Food and non-alcoholic beverage consumer prices jumped 71.12% in February year-on-year and recorded a surprisingly large monthly rise of 8.25%.

The monthly rate of change for the country’s inflation from January to February was 4.53%.

The strong figures are fueling concerns that Turkey’s central bank, which had indicated last month that its painful eight-month long rate hiking cycle was over, may have to return to tightening.

“The stronger-than-expected rise in Turkish inflation to 67.1% y/y in February adds to our concerns given that it comes on the back of a large increase in inflation in January and the strength of household spending growth in Q4,” Liam Peach, senior emerging markets economist at London-based Capital Economics, wrote in a research note on Monday.

“Core price pressures continue to run hot and if this continues, the possibility of a restart to the central bank’s tightening cycle will only increase in the coming months,” he said.

Some analysts predicted an eventual fall in inflation down to around 35% by the end of this year. According to Capital Economics, the latest figures “highlight that inflation pressures in the economy remain very strong and suggest that the disinflation process has taken a setback at the start of this year.”

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