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Eurostat: Hungary debt “unhealthy” but above average

EU

Eurostat, The European Union’s official statistical office, today released its statistics on EU member states’ national debt totals for 2012. While the figures on Hungary’s debt are mixed good news/bad news, the country can take solace in the fact that its debt is well below both the EU28 and Eurozone averages.

Despite going from surplus to deficit from 2011 to ’12, dropping HUF 1.8 trillion along the way, Hungary nevertheless recorded a debt ratio of just 2.0% against national GDP, good for eighth-best among the 28 EU member states; this represents a fall from seventh-best recorded in ’11, but all other nations showing a surplus in that year – excepting Germany – recorded a deficit last year.

Overall, government deficit-to-GDP ratio decreased year-on-year in 2012 among the EU-28 nations from 4.4% to 3.9%; Eurozone countries’ ratios dropped from 4.2% to 3.7% y.o.y.

In reporting the results, Eurostat noted that “In 2012 the lowest government deficits in percentage of GDP were recorded in Estonia and Sweden (both -0.2%), Luxembourg (-0.6%) and Bulgaria (-0.8%), while Germany (+0.1%) registered a government surplus.

Seventeen member states had deficits higher than 3% of GDP, with the largest registered in Spain (-10.6%), Greece (-9.0%), Ireland (-8.2%), Portugal and Cyprus (both -6.4%). In all, fifteen member states recorded an improvement in their government balance relative to GDP in 2012 compared with 2011, twelve a worsening and one remained stable…

“Fourteen Member States had government debt ratios higher than 60% of GDP, with the largest observed in Greece (156.9%), Italy (127.0%), Portugal (124.1%) and Ireland (117.4%).”

Hungary was one of just six EU countries whose debt-to-GDP ratio decreased in 2012, going from 82.1% to 78.9%.

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