Turkish Statistics Institute ( TurkStat) said Friday that the country's annual inflation rate in 2013 hit 7.49 percent, far above the government's initial goal of 6.2 percent. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 0.46 percent in December on a monthly basis, hitting 7.4 percent, a rate increased faster than economists expected. TurkStat noted that December's inflation was aided by a 10.05 percent surge in education expenses and a 9.86 percent rise in prices at cafes and restaurants. In addition, transportation costs in December were 9.77 percent higher than a year earlier, and the prices of food and non- alcoholic beverages increased 9.67 percent. Analysts attributed the higher inflation in 2013 to the slump of lira exchange rate and easy money policies adopted by the government. Moreover, due to the consumption tax hike from Jan. 1, the inflation is expected to be pushed up appreciably in the year of 2014, said analysts.