Turkish budget deficit expands in election month

Turkish budget deficit expands in election month

ANKARA
Turkish budget deficit expands in election month

Turkey’s central government budget balance recorded a deficit of 25.6 billion Turkish Liras ($5.3 billion on July 16 parity) in June with a dramatic year-on-year increase due to rising public expenditure ahead of the elections, official data has shown.

The gap was 13.7 billion liras in the same month of 2017.

Analysts said a number of pre-election expenditures played a significant role in pushing up the budget gap in June, including the bonus payments to retired people.

Still, revenues showed a healthy increase thanks to hefty growth in tax income, enabling the deficit not to exceed the budget target dramatically, data from the Treasury and Finance Ministry showed on July 16.

The 12-month rolling budget deficit rose to around 2 percent of GDP versus the 1.9 percent target for this year, according to calculations.

In June, the budget revenue rose to 51.5 billion liras by a 17.3 percent yearly increase, while the expenditure rose to 77.2 billion liras with a 33.8 percent increase.

The deficit was 46 billion liras ($9.5 billion) in the first half of this year with a 70 percent yearly increase, according to the ministry data.

This January to June, Turkey’s budget revenues totaled 353.6 billion liras, up around 18 percent year-on-year, according to official data.

In the same period, budget expenditures rose nearly 23 percent to 399.7 billion liras, marking a 46 billion lira deficit.

The budget balance, excluding interest payments, saw a deficit of 12.3 billion liras in the six-month period.

Official figures showed that tax revenues amounted to 294.8 billion liras while interest payments were 33.8 billion liras over the same period.

In 2017, Turkey’s budget deficit/GDP ratio was around 1.5 percent—below the targets noted in the country’s Medium Term Program (MTP).

Turkish economy, budget deficit, tax revenue