Gen Gov't Deficit Reaches HUF 4.753 tln at End-2022 

Debt

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Hungary's cash flow-based general government balance, excluding local councils, finished 2022 with a deficit of HUF 4.753 trillion, the Finance Ministry said in a preliminary release of data on Wednesday, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

The deficit widened by HUF 1.287 tln from the end of November.

The central budget deficit reached nearly HUF 4.612 tln at the end of the year. The social security funds were HUF 405.8 bln in the red, while the separate state funds had a surplus of HUF 263.9 bln.

The full-year cash flow-based general government deficit target was HUF 3.153 tln.

The ministry said the deficit was a consequence of measures to ensure the country's security and energy supply.

"The Russian-Ukrainian war and Brussels' failed response through sanctions rewrote last year's economic trends. In the crisis that developed, the government continued to protect workplaces and strengthen its family-based economic policy," it added.

The ministry noted that expenditures on pensions last year, including an annual bonus equivalent to a full month's pension, increases to preserve pension value amid inflation, and a premium linked to economic growth, came to HUF 4.792 tln. 

General government revenue rose 18.7% to HUF 29.786 tln last year, it added.

The ministry said the general government deficit relative to GDP, calculated using the European Union's accrual-based accounting rules, reached 4.9%, in line with the target. Calculating with an extraordinary top-up of the country's gas reserves, the deficit could have reached 6.1% of GDP, it added.

State debt relative to GDP fell to 73.5% at the end of 2022 from 76.8% a year earlier, falling more than expected, the ministry said. 

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