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Hungaryʼs state debt 70.9% of GDP, including Eximbank

Hungaryʼs national debt as a percentage of GDP reached 70.9% at the end of last year, down from 73.4% at the end of 2017, preliminary data released by the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) on Monday show, state news wire MTI reported.

Hungaryʼs constitution requires the year-end debt-to-GDP ratio to fall each year until it reaches 50%. The year-end ratio was down from 72.6% at the end of Q3, 74% at the end of Q2, and 73.7% at the end of Q1 2018. 

The MNB noted that state debt excluding Magyar Eximbank stood at 69% at the end of 2018, down from 71.5% at the end of 2017.

The MNB recently started publishing separate state debt ratios, with and without the balance sheet of Magyar Eximbank, in line with a decision by Eurostat, the EUʼs statistics office, which had maintained for years that the foreign trade financing bank should be reclassified inside the general government sector, raising state debt.

The net financing requirement of the general government, which MTI noted is a good approximation of the general government deficit, was HUF 925 billion, or 2.2% of GDP, in the four quarters to the end of 2018.