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General govʼt January surplus confirmed

Hungaryʼs cash flow-based general government, excluding local councils, ran a HUF 244.5 billion surplus at the end of January, the Ministry of Finance said in a detailed reading of data on Thursday, confirming a preliminary flash report on February 8, state news agency MTI reported.

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The central budget surplus reached HUF 186.5 bln. Separate state funds were HUF 23 bln in the black, while the social insurance funds had a HUF 35 bln surplus.

The ministry said that tax revenue was HUF 200 bln higher in January than in the same month a year earlier, and "significant" transfers of European Union funding also arrived from Brussels.

Revenue from VAT was up HUF 153.9 bln, revenue from personal income tax rose HUF 23.9 bln, revenue from pension and healthcare contributions as well as payroll tax climbed HUF 23 bln, and revenue from excise tax increased HUF 17.1 bln, it said.

Transfers from Brussels came to HUF 222.9 bln, and payouts on EU-supported projects reached HUF 89.3 bln, it added, noting that the general government would have run a surplus even without the EU transfers.

Among the biggest expenditures in January were those funded mainly from central budget funds, such as the Modern Cities Program and upgrades of the national rail network, the ministry said.

The government targets a cash flow-based deficit of HUF 998.4 bln for the full year. Relative to GDP, the deficit target stands at 1.8%, calculated according to the European Unionʼs accrual-based methodology.