An increase in the central government budget deficit should not be a source of concern, as it is "mostly related to seasonal costs," Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek said yesterday.
Turkey's government budget deficit was TL 6.8 billion ($2.5 billion) in March and TL 5.4 billion in the first quarter, Şimşek said at a press conference on Wednesday, held to announce central government budget figures for March. The central budget figures were weaker than figures from a year earlier showing the government budget deficit up TL 1.8 billion from the year before in March, and up TL 3.9 billion in the first quarter year-on-year.
However, Şimşek stressed the budget figures were in line with projections, as first quarter numbers roughly correspond to one-fourth of yearly targets and there was no deviation from budget discipline.
Budget disciplineHe said: "There is an over-TL 4 billion increase in interest expenditures, which has a nature for periodicity compared to last year. "But if you take this into account - periodicity in interest expenditures - you can see budget discipline lasts in a strict manner because interest rate expenditures will not increase all the year round. There is a periodicity related to maturity structure." The budget deficit was TL 6.8 billion in March and TL 5.4 billion in the first quarter. Şimşek said that non-interest surplus, which was TL 12.5 billion liras in the first quarter of 2014, was TL 12.7 billion in the first quarter of 2015.
"This clearly indicates there is not even a slight hesitation over budget discipline and there is a strong will to achieve the targets," he said.