May 15 2018

Turkish budget deficit narrows in April

Turkey’s budget deficit narrowed 7 percent in April, the Finance Ministry said on its website on Tuesday.

The deficit shrank to 2.75 billion liras ($626 million) from 2.96 billion liras in the same month of 2017, the ministry in Ankara said.

The budget gap for the first four months widened to 23.2 billion liras, or 27 percent of the government’s year-end goal, from 17.9 billion liras a year earlier.

Turkey’s government is seeking to keep to its targets for the budget as snap general elections, slated for June 24, approach. Budgetary discipline contrasts with the country’s widening current account deficit, which stands at more than 6 percent of gross domestic product, and the inflation rate of 10.9 percent, more than three times the emerging-market average.

The budget’s primary surplus, which doesn’t include interest payments on debt, was 356.1 million liras in April and 2.21 billion liras for the first four months. The surplus was 4.17 billion liras in the same months of 2017.

The government has announced a swathe of measures since calling the election, including an increase in pension payments and amnesties for some debts. Those steps are due to impact the budget in the coming months.