Measures to protect the economy expected later in the year
Finance Ministry forecasts 7-9% deficit in 2020
Although the economic fallout due to the coronavirus epidemic was not as serious as that in the rest of the European Union, Hungary’s economy shrank substantially, by 13.6 percent, in the second quarter of 2020, the statement said. The decline combined with tax cuts have set the economy back by 1,400 billion forints (EUR 4.0bn), it said.
Due to the government’s economy and job-protection measures, the cash flow-based budget deficit came close to 2,165 billion forints at the end of July, the statement said.
The ministry said that an adjustment of the deficit target is warranted in view of the epidemic protection plan and measures to protect the economy expected later in the year.
The average planned deficit in EU countries is 9 percent of GDP this year, the statement noted.
In the spring, the government had estimated the 2020 general government deficit could reach 3.8-4.0 percent of GDP. Finance Minister Mihály Varga said early in July that the gap would have to be recalculated.