Turkey’s budget balance posts $880 million gap in January-May

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A money changer counts U.S. dollar bills, with Turkish lira banknotes in the background, at a currency exchange office in central Istanbul, Turkey, Aug. 21, 2015. (Reuters Photo)

The Turkish government’s budget balance registered a deficit of TL 7.5 billion (some $880 million) in January-May, official data showed Tuesday.

The figure improved from a deficit of TL 90 billion in the same period last year, according to the Treasury and Finance Ministry data.

Budget revenues surged by 39.4% year-on-year to TL 542.4 billion in the first five months.

Expenditures totaled some TL 550 billion, up 14.8% from a year ago.

The budget balance excluding interest payments posted a surplus of TL 73.9 billion from January through May.

Tax revenues totaled TL 423.7 billion, while interest payments came in at TL 81.45 billion in the same period.

One U.S. dollar traded for TL 8.37 on average in May and 7.74 in the first five months of this year.

In May, the budget posted a deficit of TL 13.4 billion, down from TL 17.3 billion in the same month of last year.

The budget revenue came in at TL 104.5 billion last month, jumping 53.5% on a yearly basis.

The expenditures increased 38% versus last May to TL 117.9 billion.

Excluding interest payments, the government budget balance registered a surplus of TL 575 million last month.

Positive track in fiscal discipline

Separately, Treasury and Finance Minister Lütfi Elvan Tuesday said January-May primary balance showed that the nation resolutely maintained its fiscal discipline policies.

Turkey’s current account posted a lower-than-expected deficit in April, driven by a narrowing goods deficit and a turn of services balance to surplus, official data showed Monday.

The gap narrowed to just over $1.7 billion in the month, versus deficits of $3.58 billion a year ago and $3.3 billion in March.

The country’s 12-month rolling deficit thus marked another pronounced drop to $32.7 billion, down from $36.3 billion a month ago.

The data released indicates that we are on the path to recovery, Elvan said in a tweet.

Turkey will continue to back its citizens affected by the coronavirus pandemic with selective support if necessary, the minister added.

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