Turkey’s budget deficit at $7.4 billion for 2015
ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
AA photoTurkey’s government ran a 22.6 billion Turkish Liras ($7.4 billion) budget deficit last year, Turkey’s finance minister announced in a press conference Jan. 15.
The amount was 1.2 percent of the country’s GDP, and less than 2 billion liras ($656 million) than was forecast for 2015, Naci Ağbal said.
“We can say that last year was very successful in terms of budget revenue performance,” he said.
“The general government budget in 2015 will be a balanced budget and will be one of best performances in the last nine years,” Ağbal said.
The December budget deficit was 17.1 billion liras ($5.6 billion), with interest payments and personnel expenses such social insurance payments taking up a large part of revenue, Ağbal said.
According to the ministry, Turkey’s government budget revenue reached 483.4 billion liras ($158.7 billion) in 2015, a 13.6 percent increase compared to 2014.
Budget expenditures for last year rose to 506 billion liras ($166.1 billion), marking a 12.8 percent increase year-on-year. Interest expenses stood at 53 billion liras ($17.4 billion) in that period, a 6.2 percent of increase from the previous year. The ministry estimated that budget expenses for the 2016 fiscal year would total 570.5 billion liras ($188 billion), up by almost 10 percent compared to the 520.4 billion liras ($170.8 billion) forecast for 2015.
“We forecast that the deficit will hit 1.2 percent of gross domestic product in 2016,” Ağbal said.
“We forecast the ratio of debt stock to GDP at 32.6 percent by the end of 2015. With this figure, we achieved a 0.9-point improvement compared to 33.5 percent in 2014,” he added.
The biggest share of the budget was allocated to the Education Ministry with 109.3 billion liras ($36 billion), an increase of 24.9 percent from last year’s allocation.
The country’s Health Ministry will receive 95 billion liras ($31.2 billion) from the budget, according to the ministry. The minister said the government budget for investment would increase by 24.2 percent over the year to reach 60.1 billion liras ($19.7 billion). According to the Finance Ministry, the growth rate of Turkey’s GDP will be 4.5 percent in 2016, while the forecast for inflation is 7.5 percent for the end of the year.
The ministry estimated exports for the year at $155.5 billion and imports at $210.7 billion.
“Under the current conditions, we forecast that recovery in developed economies will continue and that growth in emerging commodity importer economies will strengthen while growth in commodity-exporting countries will slow down,” Ağbal said.
The country’s exports decreased by around 8.7 percent to $143.7 billion in 2015 from the previous year due to exchange-rate volatility, a plunge in commodity prices and escalating geopolitical risks, according to data from the Exporters’ Assembly of Turkey. The Turkish central government’s budget ran a deficit of 22.7 billion liras ($10 billion) in 2014.