Hungary posted a HUF 309.4 billion cash-flow based general government deficit without local councils in March, the Finance Ministry announced based on preliminary figures on Tuesday.
The March deficit is down from the ministry’s forecast for a deficit of HUF 332.9 billion. The March shortfall brought the Q1 cash-flow deficit, excluding local government, to HUF 566.0 billion, or 2.1% of GDP, slightly lower than the projected 2.2%.
The first-quarter deficit was slightly down from the ministry’s HUF 589.5 billion projection, and was HUF 57.9 billion higher than a year earlier.
When releasing its Q1 forecast in the middle of March, the ministry projected the full-year cash-flow deficit of the general government, excluding local councils, at HUF 730.6 billion.
The central budget deficit came to a preliminary HUF 293.5 billion last month, down from the forecast HUF 311.1 billion. The three-month budget deficit came to HUF 555.5 billion, slightly higher than the HUF 547.9 billion deficit posted in the three months of 2008.
The two national social security funds ran a combined March deficit of HUF 11.9 billion, which was below the 18.5 billion deficit forecast by the ministry in the middle of March.
The three-month deficit of the social security funds stood at HUF 38.0 billion this year, well up from a HUF 5.2 billion deficit in the same period last year when health co-payments, introduced in 2007 and abolished as a result of a referendum in the spring 2008 were still in force.
The separate state funds ran a HUF 4.0 billion deficit in March, up from a projected HUF 3.2 billion shortfall. The funds recorded a HUF 27.5 billion surplus in the Q1, down from a HUF 45 billion surplus in Q1 last year. The funds include the labour market fund from which employment preserving and boosting measures are paid. (MTI-Econews)