Turkey's inflation eases to 20.3 percent in December

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, and Mehmet Ozhaseki, a former minister, aplaude during a meeting in Ankara, Turkey, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019. Erdogan has nominated Ozhaseki to run for mayor of Ankara in March as the candidate of his ruling Justice and Development Party to lead Turkey's capital city.(Presidential Press Service via AP, Pool)

ANKARA, Turkey — Official figures show that Turkey's inflation rate eased for the second consecutive month in December, helped by tax cuts and discounted prices on consumer goods.

The Turkish Statistical Institute said Thursday that consumer prices in the year to December stood at 20.3 percent — 0.40 percent down from November.

Turkey's inflation had hit a 15-year high rate of 25.2 percent in October, before easing to 21.6 percent in November.

Turkey's national currency hit an all-time low in the summer over concerns about President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's economic policies and a diplomatic and trade spat with the United States.

Improved relations with the U.S. and a major interest rate hike have helped shore up the Turkish lira in recent months.

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