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Central budget posts HUF 49 billion surplus in May

Hungary recorded a central budget surplus of 49 billion forints (EUR 123.5m) in May, the finance ministry confirmed in a detailed reading of data released on Monday, adding that the country's economy had returned to a growth path.

The May surplus is the best indicator recorded for the month since 2016, the ministry said in a statement. It said that the surplus partly thanks to the transfer completed by the European Commission at the end of the month, to be used for pay hikes for teachers.

The central budget had a deficit of 2,559.7 billion forints at the end of last month and the social security funds were 104.3 billion forints in the red, while separate state funds were 115.5 billion forints in the black.

Interest expenditures, which included large payments on retail government securities, came to 1,760.6 billion forints in January-May, up 659.4 billion from the same period the previous year, the ministry said.

Transfers from Brussels continued and came to 546.2 billion forints while expenditures for European Union-funded programmes reached 801.9 billion forints, it added.

The ministry affirmed the government’s commitment to reducing the deficit and state debt, noting an earlier decision to postpone 675 billion forints worth of state investments to achieve the deficit target of 4.5 percent of GDP while moving ahead with projects worth several billion forints this year.

The budget continues to ensure the resources necessary to protect pensions and family subsidies as well as to keep the system of regulated household utilities in place, the ministry said.

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