Hungary’s budget deficit, excluding local councils, reached 2,270.3 billion forints (EUR 6.2bn) at the end of September, up 9 billion from a month earlier, the Finance Ministry said. The central budget had a 1,841.8 billion forint deficit and the social insurance funds were 441.8 billion forints in the red, but the separate state funds had a surplus of 13.3 billion forints. The deficit has swelled this year on the back of pandemic spending, economic stimulus and pre-financing for European Union-funded projects. The ministry said spending on medical equipment necessary for protection against the pandemic came to 581.4 billion forints by the end of September. Payouts for European Union-funded projects reached 1,500.8 billion forints, while transfers from Brussels came to just 909.4 billion. Among other expenditures, the ministry noted 150.9 billion forints in business grants to boost competitiveness in the face of the coronavirus crisis, 128.5 billion forints for tourism developments and 49.5 billion forints for investment incentives.