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Hungary’s Maastricht state debt stood at 70.1% of GDP at the end of March 2019, down from 70.8% at the end of December or from 73.7% a year earlier, the National Bank of Hungary (NBH) said, confirming preliminary data released on May 17.
The debt ratios include data of Magyar Eximbank, in line with a decision by Eurostat that the balance sheet of Magyar Eximbank should be reclassified inside the general government sector, raising state debt. The NBH started publishing separate state debt ratios, with and without the balance sheet of Magyar Eximbank last year.
The net financing requirement of the budget, which is a good approximation of the budget deficit, was 891 billion forints (EUR 2.6bn) or 2.1% of GDP in the four quarters to the end of Q1, the central bank reported.
The four-quarter deficit figures were revised up from 721 billion forints, equalling 1.7% of GDP in the first reading. The bulk of the revision reflected a 64 billion forint higher deficit in the fourth quarter of 2018 and 149 billion forints less surplus in the first quarter of this year. The downward revised Q1 budget net lending was 33 billion forints or 0.3% of the quarterly GDP.
Central government net borrowing was 158 billion forints (revised up from 46 billion in the preliminary report), net lending of local governments was 216 billion forints (down from a preliminary 242 billion) and the social security funds borrowed net 24 billion forints (rather than 14 billion) in the first quarter.