ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey on Tuesday reported a central administrative budget deficit for September more than twice the level of a year earlier, but said it was on track for a below-target shortfall for 2007 as a whole.
The Finance Ministry said the central administrative budget ran a 3.746 billion lira ($3.06 billion) deficit in September, compared with a 1.858 billion lira deficit in the same period last year.
The budget primary surplus was 2.047 billion lira in September, up from last year’s 1.633 billion lira.
A ministry statement said the budget deficit topped 12.173 billion lira in the Jan-Sept period and the primary surplus hit 30.599 billion lira.
The International Monetary Fund, which has a $10 billion loan deal with Turkey, places great emphasis on fiscal discipline as Ankara looks to cut down its heavy debt.
“In the first nine months, the primary surplus reached 84.7 percent of the 2007 target and the actual budget deficit in the period corresponds to 72.3 percent of 16.83 billion lira deficit target,” the ministry said.
The primary surplus, which excludes interest payments on debt, is a key indicator of state finances.
The statement said that the figures showed the end-year budget deficit will be below the target.
The government also projects a 36.116 billion lira budget primary surplus for 2007.
Turkey’s budget deficit was 3.995 billion lira last year and the primary surplus of 41.951 billion lira surpassed expectations, previously-announced data shows.