Turkish budget deficit triples as spending soars

Turkey’s budget deficit tripled in April compared with a year earlier after spending surged.

The gap widened to 50.2 billion liras ($3.23 billion) from 16.9 billion liras in April 2021, according to data published by the Treasury and Finance Ministry on Monday.

Spending more than doubled to 214 billion liras last month from 111 billion liras a year earlier, led by a jump in current transfers, including to the social security system. Revenue climbed by 75 percent to 164 billion liras. The increases did not take account of the erosive effects of inflation, which jumped by an annual 70 percent in April.

Turkey’s government is seeking to limit the budget deficit to 3.5 percent of gross domestic product this year in an economic programme focused on growth, exports, production and employment. But rate cuts by the central bank, ordered by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, have led to higher inflation and a slump in the value of the lira, eroding living standards and prompting the government to provide financial aid for struggling families.

The lira was trading down 0.4 percent at 15.61 per dollar as of 9:22 a.m. local time on Tuesday, widening losses this year to almost 15 percent. The currency fell by 44 percent against the dollar in 2021.

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