Are you sure?

Ministry confident of 3.9% deficit

The Finance Ministry remains confident that Hungary's accrual-based (ESA95) general government deficit was around 3.9% of GDP last year.

Net general government financing requirement was HUF 1,156 billion, or 4.4% of GDP, in 2009, preliminary National Bank of Hungary (MNB) figures showed on Tuesday.

“The preliminary statistics of NBH, which will be modified several times, differ in some respects, especially in accounting related to MNB from the methodology of accounting the general government deficit according to EU-norms. If corrected for those discrepancies, we receive a figure practically around 3.9%”, Finance Ministry spokesman Ferenc Pichler told MTI on Tuesday.

When assessing a country in the excessive deficit procedure, the EU considers the ESA95 deficit. After the assessment at the end of January, the European Commission said: “The target of 3.9% of GDP is now likely to have been met”.

On Monday, on conclusion of the fourth review by the Commission of the EU balance-of-payments assistance for Hungary, Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn said: “Thanks to a series of savings measures, Hungary seems to have managed to contain its deficit at 3.9% of GDP in 2009 in spite of the sharp economic contraction”.