Americans have experienced higher inflation rates over the past two years. However, as difficult as it is for many individuals to pay for the necessities of life, many countries have inflation rates that are in the stratosphere.
Argentina and Turkey are currently experiencing the highest inflation rates in the G20. In January 2023, Turkey’s rate was 57.7%. This means that goods costing 100 Turkish lira (Tl) in January 2022 would now cost Tl157.7. This was the third straight month in which its rate has fallen, however, which is a positive sign, although Turkey’s rate is still significantly higher than other G20 nations. Health, hospitality, food and furnishings were the main drivers of overall consumer price growth in January 2023.
The recent slowdown ends the largest growth in inflation experienced by any G20 country. Turkey’s inflation rate gained more than 60 percentage points inside 12 months between September 2021 and September 2022. The lira is also in freefall against the US dollar. One lira is worth $0.053 (as of 15 February, 2023), almost one-third of the value it was around the same period in 2021 and one-fifth of the rate in 2017. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s decision to cut interest rates is not helping inflationary pressures.
Argentina’s persistent hyperinflation is on an upward spiral. Prices in January 2023 were 98.8% higher than January 2022. It is now the country with the highest inflation rate in the G20 by some margin. Argentina has been battling inflationary problems for several years. Covid-19 saw inflation escalate to 50% in 2019, but the country was experiencing 40% inflation in 2016. Its central bank has raised its benchmark interest rate to 75% in a bid to control the situation. The fact the interest rate has reached such levels tells its own story about the country’s economic woes.