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Hungary had a current-account surplus of just 2 million euros in the first quarter of 2020, data released by the National Bank of Hungary (NBH) show. The current account surplus in Q1 comes after a 779 million euro deficit in Q4 2019 and a 118 million euro deficit in Q1 2019. The trade balance showed a 183 million euro deficit in trade of goods, but a 1.45 billion euro surplus in trade of services in January-March 2020. Primary income showed a deficit of 869 billion euros and secondary income a deficit of 403 million euros. The capital account showed a surplus of 567 million euros in Q1, including 571 million euros in transfers from the European Union. Direct investments contributed a negative 1.25 billion euros.
Hungary’s unadjusted net external financing capacity – the combined balances of the current and capital accounts – reached 569 million euros in Q1, compared to a net external financing capacity of 536 million euros in Q4 2019 and 207 million euros in Q1 2019. Unadjusted data show the financial account had a deficit of 317 million euros in Q1. Direct investments as mentioned showed a deficit of 1.25 billion euros but portfolio investments had a surplus of 2.83 billion euros. Other investments rose by 1.09 billion euros but reserve assets fell by 2.85 billion euros in Q1. Hungary’s net foreign debt, excluding FDI debt instruments amounted to 9.1 billion euros at the end of March, down from 11.7 billion euros at the end of December and also down from 12.1 billion euros in March 2019. Net foreign debt was the equivalent of 6.3% of GDP in the four quarters to the end of Q1. Gross foreign debt stood at 72.0 billion euros, down from 75.5 billion euros in Q4 and down from 77.1 billion euros in Q1 2019.