TURKEY ECONOMY

Turkey’s budget to focus on job creation

Government will maintain strict fiscal discipline as foreseen in its medium-term fiscal plan for 2018-2020 period

Anadolu Agency

Turkey is looking to create more jobs during the years 2018-2020, the finance ministry said Thursday as it unveiled details of its medium-term fiscal plan in the Official Gazette.

During the period, Turkey will also focus on maintaining macro-economic stability, reducing inflation and improving income inequality.

However, the government did not specifically mention the number of jobs it will create through the plan.

The ministry said it will increase budgeted spending by 18 percent to 691 billion Turkish liras ($193.4 billion) next year, 753 billion Turkish liras ($210 billion) in 2019 and 816 billion Turkish liras ($228.4 billion) in 2020.

Spending on civil servants will account for one of the biggest slice of the pie at 183 billion Turkish liras ($51 billion) next year, up 162 billion Turkish liras from this year.

According to the medium-term economic program announced late September, the government aims to hit annual economic growth of 5.5 percent until 2020.

It expects to collect 696.8 billion Turkish liras ($195 billion) next year, leaving nearly a 66 billion Turkish lira ($18.4 billion) budget deficit.

In its medium-term fiscal management plans for 2018 to 2020, the ministry said the government will keep budget deficit below 2 percent, at 1.9 percent for 2017-18. The government plans on reducing that to 1.6 percent by 2020.

The Turkish economy expanded beyond expectations in the first (5.2 percent) and second (5.1 percent) quarters of this year, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat).

The general government debt stock defined by the European Union will stand at 28.5 percent of GDP next year, compared with 31.9 percent set for this year.

On a medium-term basis, the government aims to keep this number under 30 percent to maintain a healthy balance sheet.

Turkey’s fiscal deficit and government’s debt-to-GDP will stand at 1.9 percent and 31.9 percent this year, respectively, according to the medium-term fiscal plan of 2017-2019 which was published in 2016.

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