Hungary’s cash flow-based budget, excluding local councils, posted a surplus of 54.4 billion forints (EUR 140.3m) at the end of January, the finance ministry said on Thursday, citing preliminary data. The central budget had a deficit of 37.4 billion forints. Separate state funds were 41.6 billion in the black and the social insurance funds had a 50.2 billion forint surplus. The ministry noted that expenditures related to the household utility price caps came to 181.3 billion forints by the end of January, 8.3 billion more than last year. European Union transfers reached 226.0 billion forints, over 191 billion more than last January. Spending on pensions reached 475.6 billion forints and on health care 196.9 billion forints. The ministry noted that the budget had ensured resources for a 6 percent pension rise as well as the continuation of the household utility price caps and family subsidies. “The government aims to strengthen growth this year, while continuing to reduce budget deficit and state debt levels,” it added.