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Finance Ministry: Government to continue reducing deficit, public debt

The government's "most important goal" this year is to kick start economic growth while reducing the budget deficit and public debt further, the finance ministry said on Tuesday.

In a preliminary reading of data, the ministry said that Hungary’s cash-flow-based budget deficit was 4,593.4 billion forints (EUR 12.1bn) at the end of December. The central budget deficit was 4,293.3 billion forints at the end of the month and the social security funds were 412.3 billion forints in the red, it added.

The ministry noted the impact on the budget of one-off transactions like the purchase of Vodafone Hungary and stakes in Magyar Posta insurance businesses.

The ministry noted that expenditures related to the regulated utilities price scheme for households had come to 1,373.5 billion forints for the full year, close to double the 699.2 billion forints in 2022.

Expenditures on compensation for suburban and long-distance public transport totalled 744.2 billion forints, 155.4 billion forints more than in 2022.

Spending on European Union-funded programmes came to 2,812.2 billion forints for the full year, while transfers from Brussels were just 2,229.2 billion forints.

Hungary’s government has been pre-financing EU-supported investments for years, a practice that impacts the cash-flow deficit, but not the accrual-based deficit calculated according to EU accounting rules.

The ministry said revenue from taxes and contributions was up by 15.2 percent from the base period.

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