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Finance ministry: Government ensuring budget stability

Despite the prolonged war in Ukraine and challenges posed by the European Union's sanctions policy, the Hungarian economy has proved resilient, the finance ministry said in its latest monthly report on Wednesday.

The government’s measures serve as a good basis to avoid recession in 2023 and bring economic growth back above 4 percent next year, it added.

Hungary’s cash-flow budget, excluding local councils, posted a deficit of 143.6 billion forints in January, the ministry said on Wednesday, presenting preliminary data.

The central budget shortfall was 190.8 billion forints, while the social security funds had a surplus of 3.6 billion and separate state funds were 43.6 billion forints in the black.

The central budget has sufficient reserves to ensure protection of jobs, increase family assistance, continue the government’s energy price caps and preserve the value of pensions, the ministry said. “At the same time, we will reduce the deficit and public debt further,” it said.

In January, a total 427.7 billion forints were paid out to pensioners, and 179.2 billion forints were spent on health services, the report said.

The government targets a budget deficit of 3.9 percent of GDP and a public debt of below 70 percent this year, it added.

Amendments to the 2023 budget act the government submitted to lawmakers in January set a full-year deficit target of 3,400.2 billion forints.

The deficit reached HUF 4,753.4bn in 2022.

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