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IMF sees Hungary deficit exceeding EU threshold in 2013

The International Monetary Fund projects Hungary's general government deficit will widen to 3.2% of GDP this year -- exceeding the 3% European Union threshold -- in its fresh Fiscal Monitor published on Tuesday. The IMF lowered the projection from 3.7% in the previous monitor published six months earlier, but the number is still well over the government's deficit target of 2.7% of GDP. Last year, the deficit was 2.1% of GDP according to preliminary figure from the Central Statistics Office based on ESA95 calculations. The IMF noted in the report that the projection took into account the impact of fiscal plans announced at the end of January. The IMF projected the deficit would widen to 3.4% in 2014. The IMF put the primary balance, which excludes interest expenditures, at 0.9% of GDP for 2013 and 0.5% for 2014. It sees the country's gross state debt as a percentage of GDP climbing to 79.9% in 2013 and 80.3% in 2014. Hungary's government projects state debt will reach 78.1% of GDP in 2013 and fall to 77.2% in 2014.