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The Challenges of Monetary Policy in Turkey

Listed author(s):
  • Olcay Çulha
  • Ali Çulha
  • Rauf Gönenç

Monetary policy has been one of the main pillars of the post-2001 stabilisation programme. Encouraged by its success, the central bank shifted from implicit to explicit inflation targeting in 2006 and set a medium-term inflation target of 4%, applicable from end 2007. However this objective faced with two important challenges. On the one hand, inflation inertia settled in and non-tradable inflation stagnated at more than 10%, further fuelled by persistent surge in global commodity and energy prices. On the other hand, real interest rates remained high, continuing to fuel strong capital inflows and currency appreciation, and undermining the competitiveness of labour-intensive segments of the economy. Turkey is, therefore, faced with the classic dilemma of successful catching-up economies: Inflation inertia requires a tight policy while competitiveness losses appear to go beyond the absorption and adaptation capacity of large segments of the economy. This chapter argues that resolving this issue requires monetary policy to be supported by broader policies, including proactive competition policy to reduce costs and prices in services, enforcement of a credible multi-yearly spending framework to consolidate confidence in fiscal stability, and employers' and employees' commitment to anchor prices and wages more on the inflation target. Success with such policies would help shift the burden away from the central bank's interest rate as the only available instrument to increase the credibility of the inflation target. Les défis de politique monétaire en Turquie La politique monétaire est l'un des principaux piliers du programme de stabilisation engagé après 2001. Encouragée par ce succès, la banque centrale est passée en 2006 d'un ciblage implicite de l'inflation à un ciblage explicite, et a fixé un objectif d'inflation à moyen terme de 4%, applicable à compter de la fin de 2007. Toutefois, cet objectif s'est rapidement heurté à deux principaux écueils. D'une part, l'inertie de l'inflation a perduré et l'inflation dans les « non-tradables» a stagné à plus de 10 %. D'autre part, les taux d'intérêt réels sont restés élevés, ce qui a alimenté des entrées massives de capitaux et fait s'apprécier la monnaie, ce qui a pénalisé la compétitivité des segments de l'économie à forte intensité de main-d'œuvre. La Turquie est par conséquent confrontée au dilemme classique que connaissent les économies performantes en phase de rattrapage. L'inertie de l'inflation exige une politique monétaire restrictive, mais les pertes de compétitivité dépassent apparemment les capacités d'absorption et d'adaptation de pans entiers de l'économie. Ce document fait valoir que la politique monétaire doit être étayée par des initiatives menées dans d'autres domaines : incluant la politique de la concurrence proactive visant à réduire les coûts et les prix des services, la mise en œuvre d'un cadre de dépenses pluriannuel crédible afin de raffermir la confiance dans la stabilité budgétaire, et l’adoption par les employeurs et les salariés de l'objectif d'inflation comme point d'ancrage de leurs stratégies en matière de tarification et de salaires. La réussite de ces politiques atténuerait le poids qui s'exerce sur le taux d'intérêt directeur de la banque centrale en tant qu'instrument unique pour asseoir la crédibilité de l'objectif d'inflation.

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 646.

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Date of creation: 16 Oct 2008
Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:646-en
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