Adds policy context, graphic
ISTANBUL, Jan 3 (Reuters) - Turkishannual inflation rose slightly more than expected to 11.84% in December, official data showed on Friday, ending the year around a government target and likely leaving the door open to a bit more monetary easing.
A Reuters poll forecast consumer price inflation at a median of 11.56% last month, with the highest estimate among 13 economists at 11.9%.
The Turkish government, which pushed for aggressive interest rate cuts last year to lift the economy from recession, had forecast 12% inflation at year-end and sees it edging down to 8.5% by the end of 2020.
Month-on-month, consumer inflation stood at 0.74% in December, again higher than the poll's forecast of 0.49%.
Turkish inflation readings typically came in lower than expected last year, encouraging the central bank to slash its key policy rate to 12% from 24% in July.
Though the bank says it sets policy to yield a "reasonable" real interest rate - which was compressed by the December data - analysts expect a bit more policy easing in the first half of 2020.
In 2018, annual inflation surged to a 15-year high above 25% as Turkey's currency crisis sent the cost of imports soaring.
Since then, the combination of tight monetary policy, weak domestic demand and so-called base effects helped bring price rises down and by October of 2019 the gauge fell to as low as 8.55%.
The consumer price index (CPI) rebounded the last two months primarily due to base effects, though in December a 43% annual surge in alcoholic beverages and tobacco prices also lifted the overall measure.
The producer price index rose 0.69% month-on-month in December for an annual rise of 7.36%, data from the Turkish Statistical Institute also showed.
Turkish end-2019 CPI lower than govt target https://tmsnrt.rs/2DDa1NJ
(Reporting by Ezgi Erkoyun and Halilcan Soran; Writing by Jonathan Spicer)
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