Turkey's central government's budget balance saw a deficit of 1.9 billion Turkish liras ($502 million) in February, Finance Minister Naci Ağbal announced on Thursday.
The country's budget revenues surged 30.1 percent to 61 billion Turkish liras ($16.14 billion) last month, compared to the same month of last year, he said in a statement issued by the ministry's press office.
Budget expenses also rose 17 percent to reach 62.9 billion Turkish liras ($16.64 billion) in the same period.
In February 2017, the central government's budget deficit was 6.8 billion liras ($1.85 billion).
Excluding interest payments, the budget recorded a surplus of 4.8 billion Turkish liras (around $1.27 billion) in February, while interest expenditures were around 6.6 billion Turkish liras ($1.76 billion).
The government's tax revenues reached 52.56 billion Turkish liras ($13.9 billion) in the second month of this year, a 31.4 percent annual rise in tax collection.
In the January-February period, the central government's budget balance also saw a deficit of 201 million Turkish liras ($53.2 million). The balance saw a surplus of 4.6 billion Turkish liras (around $1.24 billion) in the same period of 2017.
'Fits budget targets'
The country's budget revenues rose 12.8 percent to 119.2 billion Turkish liras ($31.53 billion), while its expenses rose 18.1 percent to 119.4 billion Turkish liras ($31.58 billion) year-on-year in the same period.
Ağbal said: "In the first two months of the year, budget expenses were consonant with budget targets."
The biggest increase in expenses was seen in investment expenditures, he stated, adding:
"We will continue to remain committed to achieving the year-end budget target by staying within the medium-term program objectives in the coming months."
Last year, Turkey's central government budget balance showed a deficit of 47.4 billion Turkish liras ($12.9 billion), which was below expectations -- around 1.5 percent of GDP.
Turkey's budget revenue hit 630.3 billion Turkish liras ($172.7 billion) last year, while expenditures were 677.7 billion liras ($185.6 billion) -- including interest payments.
The government's annual budget balance saw a non-interest surplus of 9.3 billion Turkish liras ($2.6 billion) in 2017, considering the interest expenditures of 56.7 billion Turkish liras ($15.5 billion).
As noted in the country's medium-term program, the budget deficit/GDP ratio is targeted as 1.9 percent in 2018, 1.9 percent in 2019, and 1.6 percent in 2020.
According to Turkey's Central Bank, the average USD/TRY exchange rate was 3.78 in January and February, while it was 3.68 in the same month of the last year.
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