Turkey Disputes Methods of Data Showing Above-Official Inflation

Turkey’s statistics body said its criminal complaint against independent inflation researchers is over what it sees as an opaque methodology rather than their results, which showed prices rising more than official data.

“They are obliged to express the scope of the research, sampling method and sample volume, data collection method and application time together with the results of the research,” the Turkish Statistical Institute, or TurkStat, said in a statement on Monday.

The government body has demanded ENAGroup, an independent inflation research organization, be fined for “purposefully defaming” the official statistics institution and “misguiding public opinion,” according to documents seen by Bloomberg. ENAGroup started publishing its own inflation data in September amid claims from opposition parties that the official agency is underreporting price increases.

Turkey Disputes Methods of Data Showing Above-Official Inflation

The group aims to “damage and discredit the Turkish Statistical Institute” by spreading misleading data that are used by opposition parties, Turkey’s Treasury and Finance Minister Lutfi Elvan said late Thursday. “There’s no such thing as TurkStat playing with numbers or inflation reaching 30%-40%,” the minister said.

On Monday, the statistics agency said the “content of the criminal complaint is limited to the fact that the relevant group does not publish the necessary explanatory information with their news bulletins.”

“It is not related to the results of the published study and it is also not intended to prevent or stop the studies they have performed,” TurkStat said, urging researchers to avoid presenting their data “in a way that will undermine the trust in official statistics or create a basis for manipulation.”

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