Gen Gov't Deficit Reaches HUF 4.593 tln in 2023, Ministry Confirms

Figures

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Hungary's cash flow-based general government deficit reached HUF 4.593 trillion at the end of December, the Finance Ministry confirmed in a detailed reading of data published Monday.

The central budget deficit reached HUF 4.293.3 tln at the end of the month and the social security funds were HUF 412.3 bln in the red. Separate state funds had a HUF 112.3 bln surplus.

The general government deficit widened from HUF 4.074 tln at the end of November, but the ministry noted that the full-year gap was under the previous year's HUF 4.672 tln.

The ministry said the war, the energy crisis resulting from sanctions policies, and the high-risk global economic environment had put the budget under "significant pressure". In spite of the unfavorable circumstances, the budget ensured and will ensure this year, too, the preservation of the value of pensions, and the continuation of family subsidies and the regulated utility price scheme for households, it added.

The government's "most important goal" this year is the recovery of economic growth and the further reduction of deficit and state debt levels, the ministry said.

The ministry acknowledged the impact on last year's budget of one-off expenditures such as those for the acquisition of Vodafone Hungary and stakes in the Magyar Posta insurance businesses.

The ministry noted that expenditures related to the regulated utility price scheme for households had come to almost HUF 1.374 tln for the full year, close to double the HUF 699.2 bln in 2022.

Expenditures on compensation for suburban and long-distance public transport reached HUF 744.2 bln, HUF 155.4 bln more than in 2022.

Spending on European Union-funded programs came to HUF 2.812 tln for the full year, while transfers from Brussels reached just HUF 2.229 tln.

Hungary's government has been pre-financing EU-supported investments for years, a practice that impacts the cash flow-based deficit, but not the accrual-based deficit calculated according to EU accounting rules.

The ministry said revenue from taxes and contributions was up 15.2% from the base period.

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