Turkey's central government budget balance posted a deficit of TL 36.2 billion in the first quarter of 2019, the Treasury and Finance Ministry announced Monday.
Turkey's budget revenues soared by 30.4 percent year-on-year to hit TL 218.28 billion in the January-March period of 2019, according to official data. The country's budget expenditures reached TL 254.44 billion in the first quarter, increasing 35.44 percent compared with the same period last year. Excluding interest payments, the budget balance saw a deficit of TL 2.8 billion in the period, while the interest expenditures were around TL 33.36 billion. The government's tax income reached TL 154.3 billion during the quarter, indicating a rise of 5.8 percent on a yearly basis.
The U.S. dollar/Turkish lira exchange rate was 5.55 as of the end of March. Last year, Turkey's central government budget balance showed a deficit of TL 72.6 billion, meeting a year-end target under the country's new economic program announced in September last year. The government achieved a target of 1.9 percent of the budget deficit/GDP ratio in 2018 under the program. According to the same program, the budget deficit/GDP ratio target is 1.8 percent this year, 1.9 percent next year and 1.7 percent in 2021.