Sep 24, 2019

Lids become a "black market item" in Turkey as inflation worries loom

Data:; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data:; Chart: Axios Visuals

Turkey’s new central bank governor has cut the country's interest rates by 7.5 percentage points in the past 2 months and the Turks are behaving as if the country is headed for another bout of strong inflation.

The intrigue: The uncertainty in the country is growing such that supermarkets can't keep lids on their items.

  • Lids are becoming so hard to find that people are literally stealing them off the shelves, Bloomberg's Taylan Bilgic reports. In fact, they are becoming a "black market item," according to supermarket workers in Istanbul's working-class Gungoren neighborhood.

What's happening: "As Turks hunker down for the winter, a time of higher food prices, they've traditionally turned to home canning to stretch the summer harvest, cooking vegetables and fruit and pickling them to stock up for the colder months," Bilgic writes.

  • "An unprecedented shortage of lids, used to keep a tight seal in place, is giving a glimpse of the urgency that many Turks feel about the task this year."

What they're saying: "People think prices will surge in the winter, so they take precautions," Ibrahim Bilici, the owner of a dollar store, told Bilgic.

  • "I've been doing this job for almost 30 years. I've never seen anything like this."
  • Still seared in people's minds are memories of a spike in the cost of fresh fruit and vegetables, whose annual price increases peaked at almost 73% in April.

Go deeper: Turkey faces an economic crossroads after Istanbul elections

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