Budget deficit reaches HUF 4,753.4 billion at end-2022, ministry confirms

Hungary's cash flow-based budget, excluding local councils, posted a 4,753.4 billion forint (EUR 12.1bn) deficit in 2022, the finance ministry confirmed in a detailed release of data on Monday.

The deficit widened by 1,287.0 billion in December alone.

The central budget deficit reached 4,611.5 billion forints at the end of the year. The social security funds were 405.8 billion forints in the red, while the separate state funds had a surplus of 263.9 billion.

The full-year cash flow-based budget deficit target was 3,152.7 billion forints.

The ministry said the deficit was a consequence of measures to ensure the country’s security and energy supply.

Expenditures on pensions last year came to 4,791.5 billion forints, including an annual bonus equivalent to a full month’s pension, increases to preserve pension value amid inflation, and a premium linked to economic growth.

Budget revenue rose by 18.7 percent to 29,786.1 billion forints last year, it added.

The budget deficit relative to GDP, calculated using the European Union’s accrual-based accounting rules, reached 4.9 percent, in line with the target. Calculating with an extraordinary top-up of the country’s gas reserves, the deficit could have reached 6.1 percent of GDP, the ministry said.

Public debt relative to GDP fell to 73.5 percent at the end of 2022 from 76.8 percent a year earlier, falling more than expected, the ministry said.

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