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Preliminary general gov't deficit HUF 75.9 billion

Hungary posted a cash flow-based general government deficit, excluding local councils, of HUF 75.9 billion in November, the Finance Ministry said in a statement on the preliminary November fiscal position on Monday. The central budget and separate state funds registered deficits while the social security funds had a surplus last month.

Hungary's cash flow general government deficit, excluding local councils, was a preliminary HUF 1,123.7 billion in the first eleven months.

The cash flow-based general government deficit, without local councils, had surpassed the HUF 992.4 billion annual target already in January-September. The ministry had projected the overshoot, and calculated with a surplus of more than HUF 60 billion for the fourth quarter.

The November deficit followed a HUF 11.5 billion surplus in October. Based on the eleven-month deficit, a HUF 131 billion surplus will be required in December if the annual cashflow deficit target is to be met.

Traditionally, November is a month with a deficit and December is a month with a surplus. Last year, the central government (the general government, excluding local councils) registered a HUF 233.1 billion deficit in November and had a HUF 68.6 billion surplus in December.

The November deficit reflected a HUF 120.2 billion deficit of the central budget, a HUF 10.4 billion shortfall of the separate state funds, which were reduced by a HUF 54.7 billion surplus of the national social security funds in the month.

The eleven-month deficit was up HUF 148.1 billion from the same period of 2008. The bulk of the increase in the deficit came from the two social security funds which registered an eleven-month deficit of HUF 187.4 billion, more than double of their HUF 71.1 billion shortfall a year earlier, and 20.4% above their annual deficit target. The combined January-November revenue of the health and pension funds fell 3.8% short of last year's respective figure, and were at 90.5% of the annual plan, slightly down the pro-rate 91.7%, while their spending was down 0.8% yr/yr, practically at the pro-rata plan.

The separate state funds, which include the Labour Market Fund, had a HUF 22.3 billion deficit in January-November, exceeding the annual deficit plan by 9.3%, and compared to a HUF 69.1 billion surplus in the same period of 2008. The crisis hit revenues which fell 5.5% in one year while their spending rose 17.9%, and both were down pro-rata plans.

The January-November deficit of the central budget, at a preliminary HUF 914 billion, was, in contrast, HUF 59.6 billion lower than a year earlier. The eleven-month deficit of the central budget exceeded the respective full-year forecast by 12% as central budget revenues were at 88.9% and expenditure at 91% of the respective annual projections. Eleven-month central budget revenues were up 3.6% and ten-month spending rose 2.4% from a year earlier.

The figures compare to ten-month average consumer price inflation of 4.0%.

The HUF 992.4 billion annual cashflow deficit target corresponds to a deficit of 3.8% of GDP excluding local councils, and a cashflow deficit of 4.1%, including local councils. (MTI-ECONEWS)