Gen Gov't Deficit Reaches HUF 1.525 tln in February 

Debt

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Hungary's cash flow-based general government balance finished February with a HUF 1.525 tln deficit, the Finance Ministry said in a preliminary release of data on Wednesday, according to news agency MTI.

The deficit widened from HUF 143.6 bln at the end of January.

The central budget deficit reached nearly HUF 1.533 tln at the end of February and the social security funds were HUF 50.6 bln in the red. Separate state funds had a HUF 58.1 bln surplus.

The ministry acknowledged that the prolonged war and the energy crisis caused by sanctions have "radically changed the economic circumstances" but reiterated the government's aim to protect families, pensioners, the economy, and workplaces, as well as the country's security "in dangerous times, too".

"The budget fully ensures the resources necessary for the country's operation and maintaining [regulated household utilities prices] up to average consumption," it added.

The ministry noted that pension expenditures were up HUF 274.8 bln from the base period, boosted by top-ups.

"Like last year, the government will reduce the budget deficit and state debt [relative to GDP] this year, too," the ministry said.

The ministry confirmed the 3.9%-of-GDP 2023 general government deficit target and said surplus revenue generated by GDP growth over the 1.5% target will be used to reduce the fiscal gap.

Amendments to the 2023 budget act the government submitted to lawmakers in January would put the full-year deficit target at HUF 3.4 tln.

The deficit reached HUF 4.753 tln in 2022.

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