Turkish budget posts $6.5 billion deficit in first quarter
Turkey’s budget revenues soared by 30.4 percent year-on-year to hit 218.28 billion liras in the January-March period of 2019, according to the official data.
Excluding the interest payments, the budget balance saw a deficit of 2.8 billion liras in the period, while the interest expenditures were around 33.36 billion liras.
The government’s tax incomes reached 154.3 billion liras during the quarter, indicating a rise of 5.8 percent on a yearly basis.
In March alone, the central government budget produced a deficit of 24.5 billion liras versus the 20 billion liras of deficit registered in the same month of 2018.
Revenues increased by 13 percent on an annual basis to reach 54.4 billion liras with tax revenues posting a slight 0.4 percent decline to 41.09 billion in the month.
Data also showed that expenditures grew by 15 percent from a year ago to 78.8 billion liras.
Consequently, the budget posted a primary deficit of 13.1 billion liras in March versus the 10.6 billion liras of primary deficit in the same month of 2018.
Last year, Turkey’s central government budget balance showed a deficit of 72.6 billion liras, meeting a year-end target under the country’s new economic program announced in September last year.
The government achieved the target of 1.9 percent budget-deficit-to-gross-domestic-product ratio in 2018 under the program.
According to the same program, the budget deficit/GDP ratio target is 1.8 percent this year, 1.9 percent next year, and 1.7 percent in 2021.