Turkey’s year-end budget deficit in 2018 at 73 billion liras: Minister

Turkey’s year-end budget deficit in 2018 at 73 billion liras: Minister

ANKARA

Turkey’s budget deficit stood at 72.6 billion Turkish Liras ($14.8 billion) in 2018, meeting a year-end target under the country’s new economic program, Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said on Jan. 15.

“We have reached the target of a 1.9-percent budget-deficit-to-gross-domestic-product ratio under the new economic program,” Albayrak said in a Twitter post.

In the annual budget of 2018, the Turkish government had targeted a year-end budget deficit of 65.9 billion liras. However the target was revised to 72.1 billion liras with the new economic program announced in September 2018.

The country’s budget revenues rose 20.2 percent to reach 757.8 billion liras ($154.6 billion) in the January-December period, while tax incomes went up 15.8 percent to hit 621.3 billion liras ($126.8 billion), Albayrak noted.

He said budget expenditures rose to 830.5 billion liras ($170 billion), up 22.4 percent during the same period.

“Our strong public financial structure and the fiscal discipline are among Turkey’s most important anchors,” Albayrak said.

The budget balance, excluding interest payments, posted a surplus of 1.35 billion Turkish liras (some $274.7 million), according to Treasury and Finance Ministry data.

Data showed that interest payments were nearly 74 billion Turkish liras ($15.1 billion) over the same period.

The average U.S. dollar/Turkish lira exchange rate last year was around 4.90.

According to the new economic program, the budget deficit/GDP ratio target is 1.8 percent this year, 1.9 percent next year, and 1.7 percent in 2021.

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