BUDGET SHOWS NEARLY $13B DEFICIT IN 2017
Turkey's central government budget balance saw a deficit of TRY 47.4 billion ($12.9 billion) last year, the Minister of Finance announced on Jan. 15. "We revised up our end year budget deficit forecast for 2017 to 2 percent of the country's GDP in the last Medium Term Program (MTP)," Naci Agbal said. "Fortunately, last year's budget balance saw a figure [around 1.5 percent of the GDP] below the expectations," Agbal added. "It is quite satisfactory."
Last September, the government introduced the country's new MTP, the main objective of which is to retain sustainable growth performance by maintaining macroeconomic stability, resuming fiscal discipline, bringing inflation under control, and raising the quality of human sources and the labor force. Despite the 58 percent spike in the deficit in 2017, compared to TRY 29.9 billion ($9.8 billion) the previous year, Agbal said that the government had achieved the year-end deficit goal considering the MTP estimate of TRY 61.7 billion ($16.9 billion).
The budget deficit/GDP ratio was 1.3 percent in 2016. As noted in the MTP, the ratio is targeted as 1.9 percent in 2018, 1.8 percent in 2019, and 1.6 percent in 2020.
Non-interest surplus is around $2.5B
Agbal stated that Turkey's budget revenue hit TRY 630.3 billion ($172.7 billion) last year, marking a 13.7 percent increase year-on-year. "The government's tax revenues reached TRY 536 billion [$146.8 billion] in 2017," Agbal said, noting that tax revenues saw a yearly hike of nearly 16.8 percent. "Turkey's central government expenditures without interest payments were TRY 621 billion [$170.1 billion] last year," he added.
The government's annual budget balance saw a non-interest surplus of TRY 9.3 billion ($2.6 billion) last year, considering the interest expenditures of TRY 56.7 billion ($15.5 billion). According to the ministry, total expenditures increased by 16 percent on a yearly basis to TRY 677.7 billion ($185.6 billion), including the interest payments. "Consequently, according to these figures, fiscal discipline was maintained with respect to the composition of the budget balance," he said.