Turkish government runs $4.66 bln deficit for 9 months
ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
AA photoTurkey’s government has run a 13.5 billion Turkish Lira ($4.66 billion) budget deficit for the first nine months of 2015, the Turkish Finance Minister said on Oct. 16.
The amount was compatible with the government’s estimate of a 21 billion lira ($6.8 billion) budget deficit for 2015, Şimşek said.
He noted at a press conference in Ankara the September budget deficit was 14.1 billion liras ($4.9 billion) as it had widened by interest payments and early pension payments before feast of the sacrifice holiday from Sept. 23 to 28.
The reason for the year-to-date deficit’s coming in lower than the September deficit was because of budget surpluses in several months of this year, he said.
There was a budget surplus of 1.6 billion liras ($540 million) in April, 2.4 billion liras ($915 million) in February and a 3.8 billion lira ($1.54 billion) surplus in January.
According to the ministry, Turkey’s government budget revenue has reached 354.2 billion liras ($122.5 billion) in the first nine months of 2015, a 13 percent increase compared with the same period of last year.
Budget expenditures for the first nine months rose to 367.7 billion liras ($127.1 billion), marking a 13 percent increase year-on-year. Interest expenses stood at 44.8 billion liras ($15.5 billion) in that period.
Government revenue in September was 33.8 billion liras ($11.7 billion) with an 11.5 percent increase year-on-year, while budget expenditure was 48 billion liras ($16.6 billion), up 21.2 percent from a year earlier.
He forecasted that budget expenses for the 2015 fiscal year would reach 503 billion liras ($174 billion), while budget income will be at 478.5 billion liras ($165.4 billion), resulting in a budget deficit of 24.5 billion liras ($8.46 billion), slightly higher than the initial estimate of 21 billion liras ($7.26 billion).
“We have moved the payment of pensions to an earlier date. There is a 6-billion-lira periodicity in September because of that. Nonetheless, the 9-month budget figures are in compliance with budget targets,” he said.
He said Turkey would reach its budget deficit goal in 2015.
“There is no need to worry. We can easily reach revised targets and others in this year’s budget,” Şimşek said.
“The public sector will have a zero deficit at the end of 2015. We will allocate more resources to investments, education and health this year. But we will manage to accomplish the budget targets. The budget deficit to GDP ratio will be 1.3 percent in 2015,” he added.
In 2014, Turkey’s Finance Ministry estimated budget expenses for the 2015 fiscal year would reach 473 billion liras ($192 billion), while budget income would reach 451 billion ($183.5 billion), resulting in a budget deficit of 21 billion liras ($8.6 billion).
$18 bln in investments
“We will spend 52.1 billion liras [$18 billion] for investments next year and transfer 16.9 billion liras [$5.9 billion] to the agricultural sector. We will increase spending on areas like investments and other areas, and we will cut personal expenses just as much as the deflator next year,” Şimşek said.
The deflator is a measure of price inflation.
“We also aim to increase investments a bit more than we initially envisaged, if possible. We have necessary resources for reforms,” he also added.
The Turkish central government’s budget ran a deficit of 22.7 billion liras ($10 billion) in 2014.