State debt figure lowered in second reading


Hungaryʼs state debt as a percentage of GDP reached 73.9% at the end of the first quarter, including Eximbank, a second reading of data released by the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) on Monday shows. The ratio is slightly down from the preliminary 74.2% reported on May 17.

The debt ratio was up from 73.6% at the end of Q4 2017, but down from 76.2% one year earlier. The debt ratio was 1.8 percentage points lower without Eximbank, the MNB reported, cited by national news agency MTI.

In the first quarter, state debt excluding Eximbank rose by HUF 686 billion. Transactions raised debt by HUF 627 bln, and revaluations by HUF 59 bln. The forint weakened by 0.8% against the euro between the end of 2017 and the end of March.

Net general government liabilities reached HUF 23.984 trillion, or 61.6% of GDP, at the end of March 2018. The measure was down from 63.1% at the end of last year, and from 63.9% a year earlier.

The net general government financing requirement, which MTI notes is a good approximation of the general government deficit, was HUF 969 bln in the four quarters to the end of Q1, equivalent to 2.5% of GDP, the MNB said.

The four-quarter net financing requirement was revised up by HUF 30 bln, or by 0.1 of a percentage point of GDP from the first reading. The net financing requirement was HUF 13 bln in Q1 alone, equaling just 0.1% of GDP.

In Q1, the central government was a net borrower to the tune of HUF 208 bln, mostly because of large-scale securities issues. At the same time, the sub-sectorʼs receivables related to EU funding and to advances to local governments rose.

Net lending of local governments came to HUF 199 bln, while the social security funds were net borrowers of HUF 4 bln.


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