Turkey’s April budget deficit more than halves to 16.9 billion liras

Turkey’s budget deficit narrowed by 60.8 percent in April from the same month of 2020, when the government approved extra spending to help cushion the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The shortfall declined to 16.9 billion liras ($2.02 billion) last month from 43.2 billion liras in April 2020, the Treasury and Finance Ministry said on Monday.

Turkey’s government is seeking to boost revenue and curb spending this year to help attract foreign investment back to the country. Many investors have exited the country’s financial markets due to concerns about unorthodox economic and monetary policy.

Budget revenue increased by an annual 43.8 percent to 93.8 billion liras last month. Tax income rose by 55.4 percent to 76.3 billion liras.

Spending climbed by an annual 2.1 percent to 110.7 billion liras. The increase in spending was limited by a 19.1 percent drop in cash transfers to 41.7 billion liras.

The changes compared with annual inflation of 17.1 percent.

Excluding interest payments on debt, the budget posted a surplus of 1.67 billion liras in April compared with a deficit of 26.2 billion liras in the same month a year earlier.

In the first four months of the year, Turkey reported a budget surplus of 5.86 billion liras versus a shortfall of 72.8 billion liras in the same period of 2020.