Turkey projects budget surplus by 2009 through decreased reliance on borrowing

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey expects a budget surplus in 2009, its first in recent history, as the country implements a European Union budget harmonization package, the government said in the Official Gazette. The budget plan for 2007-2009, prepared by the Finance Ministry and ratified by the High Board of Planning (YPK), will cut out external budget financing by 2009, Saturday’s edition of the Gazette said. A decreasing reliance on borrowing is expected to push nominal and real borrowing interest rates down and the expected surplus will be used to reduce the public debt stock. The government estimates its 2009 budget surplus at 4.4 billion lira ($2.77 billion), and a primary surplus of 43.06 billion lira. The primary surplus excludes interest payments on the debt stock. Official budget deficit targets are seen at 8.76 billion lira in 2007 and 2.76 billion lira in 2008.