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General gov’t runs HUF 180.4 bln surplus at end of February

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Hungaryʼs cash flow-based general government, excluding local councils, ran a HUF 180.4 billion surplus at the end of February, preliminary data released Tuesday by the Ministry for National Economy show, as reported by Hungarian wire service MTI.

The central budget ran a HUF 144.2 bln surplus and separate state funds were HUF 48.4 bln in the black, but the social security funds saw a deficit of HUF 12.2 bln.

In February alone, the general government ran a HUF 57.0 bln surplus.

Higher revenues, especially from VAT and personal income tax, played a decisive role in the improved balance compared to the corresponding period a year earlier, the ministry said. These revenues were supported by favorable economic trends, a crackdown on tax evasion and the impact of labor policy measures, such as a big minimum wage rise, it added.

The ministry noted that revenue from state-owned assets was higher while the government recouped pre-financing for European Union-funded projects. It added that domestic financing for projects supported by monies from the 2014-2020 EU funding cycle also impacted the general government balance.

The deficit target of 2.4% of GDP for 2017, calculated according to EU accounting rules, is "realistic" and "can be safely achieved," the ministry said. The 2017 budget act targets a full-year deficit of HUF 1.1664 trillion.

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