Turkey registers record-breaking credit card use in July

Turkey registered 35.4 million lira ($4 million) in credit card purchases in the first week of July, almost 70 percent more than the same period last year, Sözcü newspaper reported on Saturday.

The country saw the largest annual increase in credit card spending in air travel and lodging facilities it said, with the population’s overall credit card debt increasing by 45 percent over the past year to hit 167 billion lira.

At the end of June, Turkey announced further easing of pandemic restrictions effective July 1 as the country’s daily COVID-19 infections fell below 5,000, down from around 60,000 in April.

The easing of pandemic measures corresponds with the tourism season. But the Turkish lira has been hovering around record lows for months as consumer price inflation rate in the country rose to 17.5 percent last month, the highest level in more than two years. 

Turks spent 20.9 million liras ($2.4 million) on their credit cards between June 26-July 3 of last year, according to data from the central bank, which points to a 69.4 percent increase compared to the same time period this year.

Turkey registered a 45 percent increase in credit card debt for the same time period between this year and 2020, Sözcü said. 

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