Turkey's central government budget balance posted a surplus of TL 9.9 billion in July. The budget surplus was TL 1.1 billion in July 2018, the country's Treasury and Finance Ministry announced yesterday. In a previous meeting with journalists at the end of last month, Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak stressed that Turkey will likely run a budget deficit below 3% of the gross domestic product (GDP) with the increase in revenue in the second half of the year, complying with the Maastricht criteria. The budget saw a deficit of around TL 68.7 billion in the January-July period this year. In the same period, Turkey's budget revenues totaled TL 496.4 billion, up 24.3% year-on-year. Budget expenditures rose around 22.7% to reach TL 565.1 billion, a TL 68.68 billion deficit, in the same period.
Official figures show that the budget balance, excluding interest payments, recorded a narrower deficit of TL 10.2 billion. Tax revenues of the central government totaled nearly TL 366 billion as interest payments amounted to some TL 58.46 billion in the seven-month period.
On the monthly side, the government budget balance posted a surplus of TL 9.9 billion in July. Revenues were TL 93.43 billion, and expenditures were TL 83.53 billion in the month.
Last year, Turkey's central government budget balance posted a deficit of TL 72.6 billion, marking a 1.9% budget-deficit-to-GDP ratio.
The government aims to achieve a budget deficit/GDP ratio target of 1.8% this year, 1.9% next year and 1.7% in 2021.The U.S. dollar-Turkish lira exchange rate was 5.58 as of the end of July.
In a note released Thursday, QNB Finansbank said the budget was supported by single-time revenues, in reference to the transfer of the central bank's reserve fund to the budget, as the budget deficit fell to 2.3% – a drop of 0.3%.
Parliament passed a law in July to allow the central bank to transfer cash to the government. The latest central bank data shows the monetary authority transferred around TL 20 billion from this pool in July. The remaining amount of the reserve fund was transferred to the government budget this month; thus, the ratio of budget deficit to GDP will decrease to 1.8%, QNB said.