By Muhammed Ali Gurtas
ANKARA (AA) - Turkey's central government's budget balance saw a surplus of 1.7 billion Turkish liras ($450 million) in January, the Ministry of Finance announced on Thursday.
According to an official statement, Turkey's budget revenues fell by 1 percent to 58.2 billion Turkish liras ($15.4 billion) last month, compared to the same month of last year.
The budget expenses stood at 56.5 billion Turkish liras ($14.9 billion), marking a 19.4 percent annual rise.
Excluding the interest payments, the budget recorded a surplus of 7.7 billion Turkish liras (around $2 billion) in January, while the interest expenditures were around six billion Turkish liras ($1.6 billion).
The government's tax revenues reached 52 billion liras ($13.7 billion) in the first month of this year, a 7.4 percent annual rise in tax collection.
Last year, Turkey's central government budget balance showed a deficit of 47.4 billion Turkish liras ($12.9 billion), which was below the expectations -- around 1.5 percent of the 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 the 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 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, 1.8 percent in 2019, and 1.6 percent in 2020.
According to Turkey's Central Bank, the average USD/TRY exchange was 3.78 in January, while it was 3.65 last year.