Gen Gov't Deficit Reaches HUF 1.704 tln in February

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Hungary's cash flow-based general government deficit reached HUF 1.704 tln at the end of February, the Finance Ministry said in a preliminary release of data on Friday.

The central budget had a deficit of nearly HUF 1.76 tln at the end of the month and the social security funds were HUF 23.5 bln in the red, but separate state funds were HUF 79 bln in the black.

The general government had a HUF 54.4 bln surplus in January.

The ministry noted that revenue in February was "several hundred billion" forints lower than in an average month because of VAT seasonality.

It said that the fiscal impact of pension payments, including an annual bonus equivalent to a full month's pension, had reached HUF 1.041 tln in February, bringing pension payments for January-February to HUF 1.421 tln

Interest expenditures, which included large payments on retail government securities, came to HUF 855.4 bln, the ministry added. 

In addition to covering extraordinary expenditures, the budget has ensured the resources for protecting pensions and family subsidies as well as maintaining regulated household utilities prices, the ministry said.

"The government's aim is to gradually reduce the deficit and state debt," it added.

The government targets a deficit of 4.5% of GDP in 2024, 3.7% in 2025 and 2.9% in 2026, the ministry said.

The full-year deficit target in the 2024 Budget Act is about HUF 2.515 tln.

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