Inflation eases to 9.5 pct in January .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; color:#000000;} .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink:hover { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline; color:#990000;} ANKARA - Turkish inflation eased in January to its slowest in 10 months, opening the way for further cuts to the benchmark interest rate. Annual inflation slowed to 9.5 percent from 10.1 percent the month before, the Turkish Statistical Institute, or TÜİK, said on its Web site yesterday.

Prices were expected to rise 9.4 percent, according to the median estimate of 13 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. In the month, prices rose 0.3 percent.Falling commodity prices and the global crisis, which is depressing demand in Turkey, are helping to slow inflation.

The Central Bank has reduced the benchmark interest rate by 3.75 percentage points in the last three months, taking it to a record13 percent, and there’s room for additional cuts, Governor Durmuş Yılmaz said on Jan. 26. "The disinflation process is moving ahead quite solidly," said Levent Durusoy of Yatırım Finansman Securities, who says the bank may cut by a total of 150 basis points in the next two or three months.

"With the Central Bank so certain about disinflation and its forecasts, I expect it to press ahead with rate cuts."